On the evening of July 1, 2011 a severestorm ripped through St. Croix State Park and
Along with a deluge of rain, winds in excess of
60 miles per hour struck the park. Pockets of
wind estimated between 80 and 100 miles per
hour uprooted and snapped trees across the
Approximately 11,000 acres had at least 50%
damage to the trees , and
9,600 of those acres lost 75-100% of the trees.
Park roads, trails and facilities were blocked
and damaged extensively by this storm. St.
Croix State Park was closed to the public for
two months to prevent endangering any park
visitors. Of 197 park buildings, 74 experienced tree damage.
The roads and trails in the park
were blocked in many locations by
walls of fallen trees. The initial
clearing of roadways leading to facilities
took crews two weeks to accomplish. Clearing
of trails lasted through August, with extensive
work by chainsaw crews and backhoes.
Mother Nature has dealt a catastrophic blow to one of Minnesota most prized and popular state parks.
The volume of timber down is enormous. If left
the trees would become a very serious wildfire
hazard and a breeding ground for forest pests
and diseases. Contracted logging through strictly
regulated timber sales is still going on in the Park a year later. We went our for a ride on the eastern portions of the park to take a look. Come on along...
The damage was extensive in significant areas of Minnesotas largest state park. But after taking a look I'm confident that the cleanup has reduced much of the future fire danger. Areas will change from forested to savanha and even prairie. There were more diveristy of habitat but it will still be a beautiful place.....