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Fort Ridgely campground, horse campground open

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Rachel Nunez, left, of Winthrop and Rene Alba of Gaylord try their luck trout fishing at Fort Ridgely Creek at Fort Ridgely State Park Friday. The main campground and horse camp farmhouse are open. The horse campground opens Saturday, May 1. Water will be turned on the second week of May. The ranger station opens May 20.

FORT RIDGELY STATE PARK — A number of trout fishing enthusiasts tried their luck at Fort Ridgely State Park Friday.

Rachel Nunez of Winthrop and Rene Alba of Gaylord cast their lines near the lower level campground.

“This is the best spot we’ve found around here,” Alba said. “It’s very clean and quiet. I think people should know about this park. It’s got lots of trails and it’s very historical.”

The Fort Ridgely main campground and horse campground are open. Water will be turned on the second week of May.

Park hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The ranger station will open Thursday, May 20. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The station may be closed during meal times and when staff are called away.

The valley trail near Fort Ridgely Creek, the picnic shelter and amphitheater will remain closed until further notice.

Park visitors are asked to arrive prepared. Vehicle permits and maps can be downloaded in advance. Services and facilities may be limited, so bring everything you may need.

The park website reminds visitors to continue to follow all COVID-related guidance. Practice social distancing, even outdoors. Help keep parks and trails pristine by staying on trails and disposing of trash properly.

Help prevent the spread of tree-killing insects by burning only approved firewood available at parks.

A six-page, all-seasons nature guide can be downloaded at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/destinations/state parks/fort ridgely/fort ridgely state park nature guide pdf.

The park has 9.3 miles of hiking trails and 13.3 miles of horse trails. Call the park office at 507-426-7840 to determine trail conditions before visiting.

For more information, visit https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks.park.html?id=spk00151#homepage

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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