Rice Lake State Park (Minnesota) 20-May-2022

Fair weather hikers? Not so much so back when our weekly work-free hiking day fell on a day of pitiless meteorological torment. These days we have the freedom to not have to hike in stormy weather – no matter how character building that might be. 🙄 And, unless you’re into hiking noire (or odder than we are), who wants to look at gloomy photos of wet, sad people ankle deep in mud? But Nature, as you should know by now, always bats last. So today – again driven from our temporary quarters by claustrophobia – we found ourselves doing a state park quest twofer in damp, largely sunshine-free conditions. Our characters soared… 🤨

If it was going to rain, we thought it best to do short hikes in two different parks, with lunch in between. Fortunately, we hadn’t yet visited either Rice Lake State Park or Sakatah Lake State Park and the Hiking Club hikes in each are just over two miles (3.2 km) long. So off we went…

Rice Lake doesn’t rate a mention in either 60 Hikes or Hiking Minnesota, but it is on the Hiking Project. The Hiking Club loop here is well signed and, although muddy in a few spots, was easy to follow. There was a spritz of rain as we were half way around the loop, but that was the only magic sky water we got all day. Instead, today’s theme was intense green – in the leaves, in the forest canopy as whole, and in the undergrowth. A few wildflowers relieved the green with spots of color.

Leaving the car park for the lake
Across the marshes at Rice Lake
Gloomy skies over Rice Lake
Continuing on the Hiking Club loop
False Rue Anemone(?)
On through the forest
Downy Yellow Violet
Around the meadow on the northeast side of the park
And back into the forest
Mossy Maze Polypore and lichen
Green…so very green
Wild Blue Phlox
The green tunnel
A channel through the marshes at Rice Lake
One last splash of green

This essentially level loop came to just 2.4 miles (3.8 km). A short hike – stroll really – but it was good to get outside, see yet another park new to us, and enjoy the forest. Having recently arrived from the Land of Little Rain, we were awed by all this intense, moist greenery (and also somewhat by not having been much rained on). Then it was on to lunch 🌮🌮 at El Tequila’s location in Owatoona, followed by another short hike at Sakatah Lake State Park. 😁

Our loop at Rice Lake
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2 thoughts on “Rice Lake State Park (Minnesota) 20-May-2022

  1. Great first photo! Looks very abstract with the shadows on the ripply water.

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