BARAGA — Significant rainfall over several days has forced the early closure of campgrounds at Baraga State Park in Baraga County and Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon County.
The modern campgrounds at both parks were closed Wednesday for the remainder of the season.
Park staffers at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park closed the Union Bay Modern Campground, after almost three weeks of rain showers.
“The park has received nearly 18 days of continuous rain and the campsites are completely saturated,” said Michael Knack, park supervisor. “All of the campsites have standing water and ruts from vehicles and campers that have been getting stuck.”
The Presque Isle Rustic Campground, cabins, yurts and backcountry campsites will all remain open. The closure at Union Bay comes about one week before park personnel would have turned off the water and winterized buildings.
Hikers and backcountry campers are being urged to not take any unnecessary risks and to evaluate thoroughly any attempts at informal river crossings.
“The river and creek currents are turbulent, and waters are much deeper than normal,” Knack said. “Use extreme caution.”
Check in at the Wilderness Visitors Center for the most current closures and trail conditions at the Porcupine Mountains.
The campground at Baraga State Park was closed Wednesday, roughly two weeks early, given issues with flooding and standing water.
“We have flooding in about 90 percent of the campground,” said Kelly Somero, DNR western Upper Peninsula recreation programmer. “Our current campers will be able to stay until they were due out or they can be refunded if they wish to leave early.”
Somero said Camis USA, Inc., the DNR’s reservations contractor for state parks and harbors, will be contacting future reservation holders to issue refunds.
The Otter Lake Boating Access Site has extreme flooding. The skid pier is completely submerged and the launch is not usable.
“We have reports that Big Eric’s Bridge State Forest Campground, King Lake State Forest Campground, Bond Falls Scenic Site, Prickett Dam Boating Access Site and other DNR sites in Baraga, Houghton and Ontonagon counties have very high water levels, so visitors should exercise caution when visiting these sites,” Somero said.
Other state park campgrounds in the western Upper Peninsula also are experiencing wet campsites. Calling ahead to check on camping conditions is highly recommended.
Twin Lakes State Park staffers in Houghton County reported their campground is relatively dry and the park currently has availability for the upcoming weekend.