Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Rice Lake State Park is located about 8 miles east of Owatonna, Minnesota. The entrance to the park is right off County Highway 19. There is a fee to enter the park; a day use or annual permit can be purchased at the park office. Dogs are allowed in most areas of the park when kept on a leash. Most of the park’s amenities are located on the northern shore of Rice Lake. The shallow waters and marshy of Rice Lake attract numerous waterfowl during the spring and fall migrations, including whistling swans, Canada geese, snow geese, and blue geese, diving ducks, Western grebes, and pied-billed grebes. Black terns are known to nest in the park.

Recreational activities enjoyed by visitors include picnicking, camping, hiking, canoeing, and fishing. There are 5 miles of hiking trails in the park. The park has 3 miles of ungroomed cross-country ski trails. Snowshoeing is allowed anywhere in the park except for on groomed trails. There are 3 miles of snowmobile trails in the park that connect to the Steele County Grant-In-Aid Trail System.

There is a drive-in campground at Rice Lake State Park with a total of 40 sites. There are two gravel loops in the campground. Loop A has the non-electric sites and Loop B has 18 sites that have electric hookups. The electric hookups are 50-amp service (the electric power pedestals also have 20-amp and 30-amp outlets). Most of the sites are heavily wooded so they offer nice privacy. Each site has a fire ring and a picnic table. Firewood is available for sale at the park office. The non-electric sites have nice level pads built to accommodate tents. There are three wheelchair accessible sites; two of these are electric sites. In addition to the drive-in campground, there is one group site, 5 walk-in tent sites, 4 cart-in tent sites and 5 canoe sites located across the lake.

A link to the Minnesota DNR website for Rice Lake State Park can be found here.


Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Day-Use Fee

Open Year-round



Shady campground.


Not known to have great fishing.


ADA accessible
Vault toilet
Boat ramp(s)
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Rental facilities
Picnic tables
Near lake or river
Potable water
Covered picnic areas


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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