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blue ridge reservoir

Blue Ridge (C.C. Cragin) Reservoir is surrounded by beautiful, undeveloped ponderosa forest.

Coconino National Forest, Courtesy

CLINTS WELL, Ariz. (AP) — A popular kayaking and fishing spot north of Payson is reopening to vehicle traffic.

The Coconino National Forest had closed the only road leading to Blue Ridge Reservoir earlier this month because of low water levels.

Forest spokesman Brady Smith says the reservoir, formally named C.C. Cragin, reopened Saturday.

The water levels haven't improved, dropping to 21 percent full.

But forest officials say they have installed a gate to block access to a boat ramp, while still allowing vehicles up to a certain point. Visitors will have to carry kayaks, canoes or small boats to the water.

The Salt River Project typically draws from the reservoir but has suspended operations indefinitely. The utility says it will maintain a water tank for use on wildfires.

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