Snapshot virtual tour
Welcome to the Rice Lake State Park virtual tour! Explore camping options, hiking trails, prairie flowers, and beautiful lake scenes. We hope it prompts you to visit the park in person sometime soon.
Pack a picnic lunch and soak in the scenery at one of many tables located throughout the picnic area. An adjacent picnic shelter is also available and can be rented by contacting the park office. After your meal, explore the nearby waterfowl observation area, small playground, and restroom facilities. The park’s Hiking Club trail also starts here, heading east along the lakeshore trail.
Located in the picnic area, this spot provides an unobstructed view of Rice Lake and an excellent opportunity for birdwatching. The lake’s shallow depth and marsh edges make it extremely attractive to migrating waterfowl in spring and fall. Interpretive signage shares tips for identifying these waterfowl.
Cart-in campsites are some of the most popular in the park. Rustic and wooded, they offer a gorgeous view of the west end of the lake. Cart-in sites are located along the lakeshore trail and can be accessed by an easy walk of 200 yards or less. Campers may borrow a cart from the parking lot to move camping equipment to and fro. Each site offers a picnic table, fire ring, and access to a vault toilet. Three sites are on the north side of the trail and one is on the south, right next to the lake.
This boat ramp provides public access to Rice Lake. It is used frequently by canoers and kayakers in the spring and summer, and by waterfowl hunters in the fall. Contact the park office to learn about seasonal canoe and kayak rentals. There are no motor restrictions on the lake; however, the average depth is 3-5 feet making it unwise for large boats to launch. Visitors will also find the trailhead for the west loop trails near the boat ramp, as well as a warming shelter for snowmobilers and skiers in the winter.
West Loop Trail
While hiking through towering oaks on the west loop trail take a break and enjoy a stunning view of Rice Lake. This wooded trail connects to the other west loop trail which goes through prairie and then back under the trees. Hiking both trails provides almost a mile of peaceful scenery.
Prairie Restoration Area
The product of over 15 years of prairie and wetland restoration work, this area along the east prairie trail allows you to glimpse a landscape that existed here in days gone by. Land that was altered in the mid-1900s to produce corn and soybean crops has now been carefully restored to its original vegetation. The result is numerous prairie and wetland wildflowers, grasses, and sedges all within a short distance of the trail. Grassland birds, such as bobolinks and dickcissels, can be heard singing from these flower stalks in early spring and summer.
Located just east of the group campsite on a remote section of trail, an Adirondack-style shelter provides a quiet resting spot for hikers and snowmobilers. The shelter was built as an Eagle Scout Project in 2005.
The group campsite provides a rustic camping experience for up to 60 people. It also offers campers multiple picnic tables, a fire ring, and a vault toilet. This is a walk-in site and can be accessed by a short walk of less than 60 yards from the parking area.
Enjoy a more secluded camping experience at one of the park’s walk-in sites. These sites are a short walk (25 yards or less) from the parking lot and offer a picnic table, fire ring, and nearby vault toilet. Most sites are nestled in the woods, with a few overlooking the prairie.
An accessible parking spot, for use by campers in the main campground (Loop A and B), was part of a campground renovation in 2011. The parking spot offers convenient access to the campground’s restroom/shower building. Three accessible campsites are also available in the campground, two electric sites in Loop B and one non-electric site in Loop A.
Campground - Loop A
This campground loop offers 21 non-electric sites, one of which is accessible. Loop A also contains the campground restroom/shower building, which is available to campers in both Loop A and B. A path to the lakeshore trail and beautiful Rice Lake can be found at the far end of this campground loop.
Campground - Loop B
Sites in this campground loop range from lushly wooded on the west side, to open and grassy on the east. All but one of the 19 sites has 50 amp electric hookups, and two are accessible. The far end of this campground loop offers a hiking trail that leads to beautiful Rice Lake. Campers have access to a restroom/shower building located in Loop A of the campground.
The lakeshore trail is part of almost five miles of trails within Rice Lake State Park. To the east, this trail leads along the lake to one of the east prairie trails. To the west, the trail leads to the picnic area, cart-in campsites, and boat ramp. This trail allows hikers to quietly meander along some of Rice Lake’s five miles of shoreline, and provides several lovely spots to stop and rest along the way.
Lakeshore Trail Bridge
A small wooden bridge connects the lakeshore trail to the picnic area, and provides a beautiful place to take a break and enjoy the view.
Enjoy lakeside views from one of five canoe-in campsites. These remote sites are located on the south side of Rice Lake and offer a secluded camping experience with lovely scenery. Expect to paddle approximately 20-30 minutes from the boat launch to reach these wooded sites. The farthest is about 200 yards from the channel landing.