Long ago, American Indians harvested wild rice from this lake where today, the shallow waters and marshy edges of Rice Lake attract many waterfowl during migrations. Rice Lake is a major wetland in the area. Visitors enjoy camping under the tall hardwoods, photographing spring wildflowers, picnicking, and birdwatching. For a more secluded camping experience, paddle across the lake and camp in a canoe campsite. Winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowmobiling on the trails.
Tell me more about this park's wildlife, history, geology and landscape.
(Updated 1/8/18) REMEMBER: There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice. Be aware that we have had a phased drawdown of Rice Lake over the past couple of months, and this may affect ice conditions. Driving cars and trucks on the ice is NOT recommended. Use caution if ice fishing or operating a snowmobile on the lake.
Candlelight Event Volunteers
We are looking for volunteers for our annual candlelight ski, hike, and snowshoe event, which is Saturday, 1/27/2018 from 5 - 8 p.m.
If you would like to help setup, light, maintain, etc., please call Sandi at 507/414-6192.
New Phone Numbers
Rice Lake State Park, and the DNR Area Offices located here, have new phone numbers. The main line is 507/414-6190 which has prompts to direct you to other divisions and staff.
The Parks and Trails area resource office can be reached directly at 507/414-6196.
The main number for the area wildlife office is 507/414-6200.
(updated 1/5/18) The current lake level is about 2.5' below normal. The drawdown will be maintained during the winter, and is being done to attempt a winter kill of the rough fish population that are destroying submerged vegetation and stirring up sediment.
The park is open year round for day use (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.), but camping is closed for the season and will reopen 3/31/18.
(Updated January 8, 2018 @ 3:30 p.m.)
Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.
Only use approved firewood!
Help prevent the spread of tree-killing insects by burning only approved firewood, available at all Minnesota State Parks.
Bird Checklist Rice Lake State Park.
Office hours vary. Please contact the park office at 507/414-6190 to check availability.
When the office is closed, please use the self-service area at the front of the office to purchase daily and annual permits, and reserve campsites when the camping season is open. Annual permits purchased through self-service will be mailed.
8485 Rose Street
Owatonna, MN 55060
Located 7 miles east of Owatonna on Rose Street. From Hwy 35, take exit 42A. Follow the signs to Rose Street. East on Rose Street to the park.