Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Rice Lake State Park in Owatonna, Minnesota
A couple weeks we decided to spend the afternoon out at Rice Lake State Park, which is just outside Owatonna, Minnesota. It is not a huge state park, but has manageable trails for hiking with kids and ample opportunities to observe a variety of different kinds of water fowl. They do have a couple of displays up that tell what typical water fowl visit Rice Lake and how to tell the difference between males and females. I am not really a bird person, maybe when I get older, but I can see why people find bird fascinating.
There were plenty of spring wild flowers in bloom. We were hoping to spot some morels while we were here, but were not lucky.
They do have an old school playground here that the kids like. So many playgrounds are big colorful plastic things, that these old ones are a bit more interesting.
They do have camping here - some campsites even overlook the lake, but we only came for the day. We have a State Park sticker on our vehicle (actually, we bought 2 so we have them on a vehicle at home and at the cabin) so we can just drive in for no additional fee, but otherwise it's only $5 for a vehicle admission.
They have quite a few canoes to rent here and 2 kayaks. We have been canoeing here a couple times and it is best to go in the spring or early summer, but late summer and into fall the reeds are too thick that it is hard to get out there.
This is not a deep lake, I think they say it is 3 feet deep across the whole thing. So there is no swimming here. But there is only one property on the lake besides state park, so it is very quiet and you will enjoy the serenity. In the winter they have groomed cross country skiing trails here and year round there are hiking club trails here.