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Rice Lake State Park 

Rice Lake State Park is located in the Prairies region of southern Minnesota, near Owatonna and Faribault.  

Rice Lake State Park

How to Get to Rice Lake State Park: Drive 8.7 miles east from Owatonna on County Road 19 to the state park entrance at County Road 40.   

Park Highlights:

  • Rice Lake is the headwaters of the south branch of the Zumbro River. The marshy shallows of the lake once provided wild rice to the Indians who lived in the area.
  • A stagecoach route once followed the "Ridge Road" and serviced the village of Rice Lake.The Rice Lake Church, on the edge of the park, is the only remaining building from the early days.
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Rice Lake State Park’s Natural Attractions:The park is a mix of lakes, meadows, and woodlands. The marshy lakeshore attracts migratory wildfowl that include whistling swans, Canada geese, snow geese and blue geese, ducks, and grebes. Black terns use the area as a nesting ground. In the forest, you may spot several varieties of woodpeckers, including the rare pileated woodpecker. 

Things to Do in Rice Lake State Park: The picnic area has a shelter that can be used as an open or enclosed shelter.  A nearby playground has a variety of equipment and a sandy play area. Seasonal interpretive programs are also available.

Rice Lake is very shallow, and more suitable for canoeing and kayaking than for use of other watercraft. It is not a fishing lake; however, there is good fishing just 10 miles away at Lake Kohlmeier. Boat rentals are available. You can also enjoy the swimming beach here. 

There are 5 miles of easy hiking trails. For winter activities, you will find 2.5 miles of cross-country ski trails, and 3 miles of snowmobile trails. Snowshoeing is allowed throughout the park.

Camping in Rice Lake State Park:  There are 40 campsites available for tents and RVs; 18 sites have electrical hookups. Other campsites include 4 rustic cart-in sites, 5 walk-in sites, 5 canoe-in sites, and a group camp that can accommodate up to 60 people. Picnic tables, fire rings, showers, flush and vault toilets, and a dump station are available. 

Download our Minnesota State Parks E-book to take with you on your travels: Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay

Read More: Minnesota Camping

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More Attractions in This Region: Visit the Village of Yesteryear in Owatonna and the Rice County Historical Museum in Faribault.

Other State Parks in This Region of Minnesota:  Sakatah Lake State ParkNerstrand-Big Woods State Park


8485 Rose Street
Owatonna, MN 55060

Phone: 507-455-5871


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Minnesota National Parks and Forests

Minnesota State Parks

Minnesota Visitor Site Map

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Minnesota State Parks: From Afton to Zippel Bay

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