Skip to main content

Pillsbury State Forest closed after storms leave trees strewn across trails, roads

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The Pillsbury State Forest has been closed until further notice after Sunday's heavy storms left uprooted trees strewn across roads and trails.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the forest's trails are impassable and all of its campgrounds are currently inaccessible.

The forest to the west of Brainerd was one of several parts of the state that were pummeled by high winds, heavy rain and lightning as severe storms made their way across the state.

"The bulk of the damage occurred between Nisswa and Brainerd," DNR area assistant forest supervisor Steve Bartz said in a news release Tuesday. "There is significant blowdown in these areas. Our staff will be flying over the area to assess the damage this morning."

Members of the public have been warned not to enter closed areas of the forest. The DNR said it will be putting together a plan to clear the roads and remove any hazardous trees, and roads will remain closed until that happens.

The state forest was one of several attractions in the state to suffer damage in the weekend's storms – with the Brainerd area particularly hard hit.

Madden's Resort on nearby Gull Lake has had to shut down during their high season after hundreds of trees were brought down and 20 of its buildings damaged.

It will be two weeks before the resort – one of the most popular in Minnesota – re-opens, Madden's Facebook page says, while nearby Cragun's resort – also on Gull Lake – isn't likely to reopen until late next week, FOX 9 reports.

The Star Tribune reports that hundreds of campers and resort guests had to evacuate from Madden's and Cragun's as wind gusts up to 70 mph blew trees onto cabins and campers, blocking roads and knocking out power lines.

The newspaper notes that 8,000 properties lost power Sunday night, of which 6,000 were still without power Monday.

Also taking a hit was Brainerd International Raceway, which was forced to cancel an event Wednesday after winds twisted a section of bleachers, took the roof of its main shop and press box, and flipped over several RVs.

The National Weather Service believes a supercell thunderstorm hit the Brainerd Lakes area Sunday night with the force comparable to a category 1 hurricane, the Brainerd Dispatch reports. A downburst (also called straight-line winds) – a strong downdraft producing damaging high winds on or near the ground – was the culprit behind all of the storm damage, the paper notes.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.

gas

State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.

IMG_5455

Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.

Related