With Earth Day coming up on Saturday, April 22, there will be one Minnesota State Park to enjoy due to conditions created by extreme April weather.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that due to rising waters on the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, Fort Snelling State Park will be closed to the public starting at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 21.

They add the park will remain closed until flood waters recede and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff can assess conditions within the park and address any safety issues resulting from the flood.

That means Fort Snelling State Park, located in St.Paul, will not be available on April 22, which the DNR had designated as a Free Park Day in Minnesota. Free Park Days are when the vehicle permit requirement is waived at state parks and recreation areas so everyone can enjoy them. There are, however, many other state parks in that area and throughout Minnesota that will be open.

“The safety of park visitors and staff is our number one priority,” said Ann Pierce, DNR Parks and Trails Division director. “We know Minnesotans are eager to get outside and enjoy the recreational opportunities in beautiful state parks like Fort Snelling. We will reopen the park as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

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Anyone planning on visiting a Minnesota state park or recreation area should be aware that several areas across the state are experiencing high water conditions that might affect access to certain roads, trails, or areas.

It is recommended that people visit park-specific websites to check for any visitor alerts before heading out. State park and recreation area websites can be accessed via the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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