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Check boat camps, campgrounds before traveling, advises DNR

Before venturing out to campgrounds, trails and public water accesses statewide, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) advises people to check online or call ahead to avoid surprises.

Before venturing out to campgrounds, trails and public water accesses statewide, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) advises people to check online or call ahead to avoid surprises.

"Winter weather is always a challenge to public water access," said Nancy Stewart, DNR public access program coordinator. "Because of the late ice out this year, DNR crews have been unable to inspect and repair launch ramps or put the docks in at the DNR-operated public water access sites. We will get them ready as soon as possible, but we are at the mercy of Mother Nature right now."

Meanwhile, at Minnesota state parks, the cold weather has kept water shut off and RV dump stations closed at many campgrounds.

"Winter conditions persist at Gooseberry Falls State Park and many other parks around the northland," said Park Manager Audrey Butts. "We've had some folks arrive with camping reservations without knowing in advance what to expect - which has been unplowed roads and a foot of snow in their site."

As for roads and trails, the DNR anticipates the need for temporary closures in state forests, state parks, recreation areas and wildlife management areas, due to wet conditions. Road and trail conditions are deteriorating rapidly this spring, and many are not yet firm enough to support vehicle traffic without being damaged. The temporary closures could remain in effect until sometime in May, depending on weather conditions.

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For updates on lake ice out or conditions at specific state trails or state forest roads and trails, check the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov .

People can also call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays. For conditions at state parks, check the visitor alerts on the individual park pages at www.mndnr.gov or call the parks directly.

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