Rice Lake State Park

In the area

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Rice Lake State Park

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.

Visitor Alert

NEW Phone Numbers

Rice Lake State Park and the DNR Area Offices located here have new phone numbers as of today (12/5/2017). The main line is 507/414-6190 which has prompts to direct you to other divisions and staff.

The main number for the Parks and Trails area resource office is 507/414-6196.

The main number for the area wildlife office is 507/414-6200.

Lake drawdown

The current lake level is about 2.5' below normal.

The lake will continue to drop until it reaches its minimum elevation. 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.

Waterfowl season

Waterfowl hunting is allowed on Rice Lake. Be aware that you may see and hear hunters on the lake. Duck/coot/merganser season ends December 3.

Camping season

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 December 5, 2017 @ 2:15 p.m.)

Park Notes

Virtual Tour:

Take a virtual tour. It's a great tool to help you plan your next trip to the park!Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Gift Cards:

Purchase a Minnesota State Parks Gift Card.

Don't move firewood!

Burning non-local firewood can spread invasive species, and it's against Minnesota state law. Learn more. Always buy your firewood at the park, or from an approved local vendor. Find firewood vendors for Rice Lake State Park.


Bird Checklist This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. Rice Lake State Park.

Park Highlights

tree Spring and Fall Migration

tree Birdwatching

tree Great Variety of Songbirds/Waterfowl

tree Wildflowers

tree Canoeing

tree Nature Observation


Fall through early spring office hours will 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

tel: 507-414-6190

email: rice.lake.statepark@state.mn.us

Getting There

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.