Parts of St. Croix State Park to reopen this monthby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will soon reopen parts of St. Croix State Park after clearing hundreds of trees downed in a July 1 windstorm.
Beginning Monday, the public will have access to hiking paths, picnic areas and an equestrian campground. Parks and trails spokeswoman Pat Arndt said visitors can also climb the park fire tower to get a bird's eye view of how the storm changed the park.
"It's going to take a while for it to come back. But I think people really would be interested in seeing what a storm can do to a park," Arndt said. "Now that we have areas that we've cleared out and are safe for people to come in. I just think people will be very curious to see it."
Logging crews hired by the DNR removed 3,500 tons of timber debris from the 34,000 acre park.
The department hasn't totaled the cost of the cleanup, but Arndt noted closing the park has meant least $100,000 in lost revenue from campground rentals.
Arndt said parts of the park were leveled.
"Not all of the park will be open because the damage was so extensive," Arndt said. "But we are able to open up some of the day use areas and the equestrian area, and a couple of the cabins that we rent out. and we'll be able to rent out the remainder of the overnight areas by September 30."
The overnight areas include Riverview and Paint Rock Springs campgrounds.