MN State Parks Suffer during Shutdown

Minnesota State Parks are losing $1 million a week in camping permits, trail fees, fishing licenses and concessions as the government shutdown drags on during the height of tourist season. NPR reports that vandalism may add to the unanticipated costs of suspending all park services. Read on HERE >

High Falls at Grand Portage State Park

While federally-operated parks and wilderness areas (including Voyageurs National Park and the BWCAW) are open, visitors will be unable to get fishing licenses, and may find more competition for campsites and cabins.

Closures include Bear Head Lake State Park, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock Light House, Judge CR Magney State Park, Tettegouche, Grand Portage State Park, Cascade River State Park, and Soudan Underground State Park to name a few. Thousands of campsite reservations have been cancelled. In addition to state park closures, visitors are finding that all Minnesota State Historical Society Sites are closed (including the popular Split Rock Light House).

Undoubtedly this will have an impact on local tourism economies – some northwoods merchants are reporting lower than usual traffic surrounding closed parks, others suggest that privately-run campgrounds and lodging is busier than usual as tourists look for alternatives.

Northland’s NewsCenter reports that visitors continue to visit parks along the north shore of Lake Superior, despite the warnings from the MN DNR. The DNR does not say that visiting the parks is illegal, but they strongly caution against entering the parks, where there are no open facilities, water, or emergency service. Read more about it HERE >

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