Lost in Jay Cooke: rescues rise

Preparation is key at park: for visitors and those looking out


August 11, 2023

Jana Peterson

Jay Cooke State Park, with its rugged beauty, is one of the most visited parks in the state parks system, with nearly a half million visitors each year and climbing. That means there have been more instances of visitors running into danger, requiring rescue teams.

The call was unmistakable and perked the ears of a Jay Cooke State Park staff member: "Help!" a person cried.

Within moments, a response was developing. The Carlton County Sheriff's Office came with its drone team, and the fire departments from Carlton and Esko descended onto the park with four-wheelers and rope rescue kits.

"Ultimately, nobody was found in distress," Chief Deputy Dan Danielson said. "And nobody ever reported any loved ones missing. It could have been a self-rescue."

Jay Cooke State Park is 9,000 acres of wild terrain, featuring rapid waters, cliffs and rock outcroppings,...

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