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Warm winter causes temporary road, trail closures

Minnesota DNR

Unusually mild weather in Feb­ruary is impacting road and trail conditions in several parts of the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Several roads and motorized trails in state forests, state parks, recreation areas, and wildlife man­agement areas are likely to close earlier than usual because they’re too soft and muddy to support vehi­cle traffic without causing damage, and some have already closed. The duration of the temporary closures depends on local weather and sur­face conditions, which are difficult to predict in this unusual winter.

“These spring-like thaws create wet, unstable road and trail con­ditions. Closures protect our roads and trails from damage and costly repair, and also keep people and equipment safe, too,” said Matt Huseby, roads coordinator for the DNR’s Forestry Division. “Be sure to know before you go. Check the DNR website for updates, obey the closures, and use good judgment wherever you ride.”

Many recreationists are head­ing to the woods with this warmer weather and are unaware that their usual routes might be restricted or closed. To prevent an unwelcome surprise, check the DNR website before head­ing out. Pay particular attention to state forest roads and trail clo­sures, which are listed individually on the website, rather than listing a general closure for the whole for­est. Roads that can handle vehicle traffic will remain open but might be restricted by vehicle weight.

Road and trail information is updated on Thursdays by 2:00 p.m. and includes closure information on every OHV trail in Minnesota. Signs will also be posted at entry points and parking lots and may be in place before the website is up­dated.

Road and trail closure informa­tion is also available by contacting the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us, 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157, (8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday).

For information on roads and trails on county land, contact the county directly.

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