Jay Cooke State Park Getting Busier With Warmer Weather

Whether you're looking for a day hike or a camping trip, Jay Cooke officials say they're excited to welcome people back for sunny days at the park. 

CARLTON, Minn. – The river is flowing, the snow is melting and it’s now a busy time of year at Jay Cooke State Park.

“We think spring may have actually sprung here in the park. Everything comes back. the people come back, the birds come back, the river goes up, so all of that is really energizing and makes you really excited about what’s coming up this summer,” park naturalist at Jay Cooke State Park Kristine Hiller said.

The 50 miles of trails will give any visitor the chance to enjoy a day hike.

“Everything from nice flat easy ones to more difficult ones so I see people that are going out for that little stroll, other people that are going out for that 25 mile trail jog out there in the forest,” Hiller said.

But the state park also features some hidden gems that some people might not be as familiar with.

“A lot of people don’t realize to stop at Oldenburg Point as well, that’s one more mile past the swinging bridge, that’s our other picnic grounds. There’s a little paved path out there, no more than half a mile round trip, that goes out to our overlook so you get these nice big panoramic views of the river valley instead of being up close like you are here,” Hiller said.

“What I usually do is pop in some headphones and look at the view because it’s just beautiful enough for the music and the view to go together,” Matthew St. John added.

And while it’s not quite camping weather just yet, Jay Cooke says spots are filling up fast and recommend making a reservation.

I would imagine that especially those electric campsites get filled up on the weekends in the spring time because they’re coming in with their own heat and not so worried about what the weather is outside. Not as many tent campers, but there will be some hearty people out there overnight camping with us in a tent too. Once we hit Memorial Day weekend, every weekend is booked solid and the middle of the week is probably 80 to 90 percent solid,” Hiller said.

Whether you’re looking for a day hike or a camping trip, Jay Cooke officials say they’re excited to welcome people back for sunny days at the park.

I still meet people that have lived in Duluth all their life and have said I’ve never been here before so you should come. Whether you’ve been in Duluth all your life or if you just arrived, it’s only a half an hour away, it’s spectacular sceneries, spectacular recreation, lots of great opportunities to learn about nature through our educational programs, too,” Hiller said.

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