Population (2010)

1,275

Visitor Information

Direct your questions to the Rice Area Chamber of Commerce (320.393.7423).

History

Rice is another community along the Great River Road (US 10) that is not directly on the Mississippi River. There was a small community in the open prairie here in the 1850s called Langola, but the area has also been known as Sand Prairie because of the sandy soil. George T. Rice arrived in 1864 and built a grist mill and a flour mill.

Immaculate Conception Church; Rice, MN

Immaculate Conception Church; Rice, MN

About a mile west of the original settlement, the Luther Hotel served travelers on the Red River Trail beginning in 1857. Rice bought the hotel and the village of Rice’s Station grew around it. The Northern Pacific Railroad built through the area in 1878, spawning enough growth for residents to decide to incorporate as a village in 1890. Rice was primarily an agricultural community in the 20th century, but in recent years it has developed into a bedroom community for commuters. The village population doubled in size from 1990 to 2010.

Exploring the Area

Bend in the River Regional Park (11231 River Rd. NE) has 3,300 feet of undeveloped Mississippi River shoreline, and three miles of unpaved trails; the park is 1½ miles south of Rice on County Road 55.

Mississippi River County Park (41300 County Road 1; 320.255.6172) offers hiking and picnicking along the Mississippi River.

Michaelson Farm Wildlife Management Area’s 262 acres of restored native prairie and forest make for good hiking, hunting, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing along the river. From Rice, drive 0.5 miles west on County Road 12, then head south a mile on the township road.

**Rice is covered in the Headwaters Region Guide; other places in northern Minnesota are covered in Road Tripping Along the Great River Road, Vol. 1. Click the links above for more. Disclosure: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to.

Where to Go Next

Next stop downriver: Sauk Rapids.

Next stop upriver: Royalton.

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If you like the content at the Mississippi Valley Traveler, please consider showing your support by making a one-time contribution or by subscribing through Patreon. Book sales don’t fully cover my costs, and I don’t have deep corporate pockets bankrolling my work. I’m a freelance writer bringing you stories about life along the Mississippi River. I need your help to keep this going. Every dollar you contribute makes it possible for me to continue sharing stories about America’s Greatest River!

©Dean Klinkenberg, 2015