Expansion plans unveiled for Split Rock State ParkConstruction for an addition to the Split Rock campground could begin as early as next year, park officials said at an open house at Split Rock Lighthouse Tuesday.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
Construction for an addition to the Split Rock campground could begin as early as next year, park officials said at an open house at Split Rock Lighthouse Tuesday.
Mark Kovacovich, regional parks operations supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources, said the state Legislature already approved money for the expansion with an appropriation last year of $3 million.
He said another impetus was a proposed Minnesota Department of Transportation reconstruction of a section of Highway 61 from Split Rock Cabins to Chapin’s Curve next year. Park officials would like to see access reconfigured so that there will be only one direct access to the park to better staff the entrance.
“That gave us a little momentum,” Kovacovich said of MnDOT’s plans. “We knew we had the campers.”
The park would have about 60 new sites and could include some camper cabins, which are more rustic version of traditional cabins and include electricity and heat.
“Our goal is to attract more people who have a declining interest in recreation,” said Lisa Angelos, assistant park manager.
Energy efficiency is another key aspect to the park.
“There is a solar component to the project,” Kovacovich said.
Added Angelos: “We just got an electric vehicle for campground patrol.”
Not everyone at the meeting was happy with the expansion plans, however.
Eric Sve, of Split Rock Cabins, expressed concerns about how the new campground will affect his business and questioned how it will affect the private sector.
Kovacovich said there would be enough business to go around.
In order for the expansion to work, the county and park would need to come to terms on a land exchange deal. Indications are discussions have just begun.