Rice Lake

Rice Lake is the headwater source for the south branch of the middle fork of the Zumbro River. The lake was first dammed to provide energy for the water-powered mill located further to the east at Wasioja. Occasionally, Rice Lake became depleted, requiring the mill to shut down. North of the park boundaries, a stagecoach route followed the "Ridge Road" in the mid-1800s. There was a promising young village of Rice Lake on this road, but the railroads came, and changed the town's future as newer towns, with more promise, sprang up. The only sign that remains of this village today is the Rice Lake Church, built in 1857, located on the northern boundary of the park. It can be seen today along Dodge County Highway 20. -MN DNR

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