Rice County parks

Costumed Adventures in Cardboard campers return from their morning sessionRice County has 12 great parks filled with something for everybody: from playground equipment and trails to picnic shelters and boat ramps that access its many lakes.

Here you’ll find McCullough Park on the shores of Shields Lake featuring 30 campsites, all with water and electric access; 10 are seasonal with full hookups. There’s Caron Park, a remnant of Minnesota’s famed Big Woods and an excellent spot for environmental study, and Shager Park, with its sandy Cannon Lake beach, a boat launch and access to the 39-mile long Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail that runs from Mankato to Faribault where it connects to the Mill Towns Trail.

The crown jewel, Cannon River Wilderness Area, is 850 acres of wooded river valley with 5 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, a canoe launch on the wild and scenic Cannon River, and four primitive campsites.

You don’t need to venture far to find your next adventure. Rice County parks are right here and ready to be enjoyed.

Park plan

The Board of Commissioners approved a Park System Plan Dec. 27, 2022. It provides a guide to short- and long-term development of each of the county's 12 parks along with recommendations for park system branding and plan implementation. Recommendations are designed to enhance each park, raise their visibility in the community and beyond, and improve users' experience.
Rice County Park System Plan - approved Dec. 27, 2022

Rice County parks

Sun coming up over Circle Lake in the fall

Area parks and trails

Parks and trails (and a nature center) located in and just outside Rice County, but not operated by the county.

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