State park sees record day-use visitors

Officials also issue more no-permit citation than normal

More visitors are enjoying the Blue Mounds State Park than normal, according to park manager Chris Ingebretsen.

“Day traffic is experiencing well over a 100-percent increase,” he said. “People are wanting to get out and enjoy the nice weather we’ve had.”

Camping at the state park north of Luverne was prohibited by the state’s Stay at Home order issued in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Restrictions were loosened on April 18 when some outdoor activities were allowed, provided people stay at least 6 feet apart.

Last weekend, assistant park manager Tom Sawtelle noticed the increase in cars in the park’s various parking lots.

“We have been busier than ever for day use,” he said.

He has also been busy issuing permit violations to visitors who do not display either a $7 daily pass or a $35 annual permit on their vehicle’s dash.

The passes and permits are available for purchase online or at kiosks throughout the park.

Ingebretsen said visitors could scan the displayed barcodes with the smart phones or use the paper registration and place the payment in the lockbox.  Visitors can also prepay visits online.

“Buying a permit has become pretty simple,” Ingebretsen said.

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