Rice Lake National Refuge, McGregor

#54 of 70 in Wildlife in Minnesota
The 18208acre Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 and is located in the scenic forest and bog area of northern Minnesota. Visitors can enjoy a range of habitats, including lake, river, bog and hardwood forest.
The refuge's history centers around the 4500acre Rice Lake which, for thousands of years, has supplied an abundant wild rice crop. Each fall, the bountiful rice attracts hundreds of thousands of waterfowl, as well as American Indians who harvest it using traditional methods. Rice Lake is known for its tremendous number of ring-necked ducks. Because of the high concentrations of migratory birds, Rice Lake Refuge has been designated as a Globally Important Bird Area by the American Birding Association.
The 2045acre Sandstone Unit of Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge was acquired in 1970 through a land exchange with the United States Department of Justice. Sandstone is located in central Minnesota, in an area once known for expanses of towering white pine forests. Today, visitors enjoy a rustic and natural setting that includes a portion of the Wild and Scenic Kettle River. Birders will find plentiful neo-tropical migrants in the spring and fall. Sandstone's wildlife includes black bear, sandhill cranes, white-tailed deer and songbirds.
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Rice Lake National Refuge Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
7 reviews
  • My wife and I traveled here this July and were delighted by what we found. This NWR is located in east central Minnesota near the town of McGregor. It was established to preserve valuable habitat for ...  more »
  • Nice place to hike and drive through. Saw several deer, geese, gross and many other birds. Lots of history tied to this area as well.  more »

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Duration: 4​h