Rice Lake

Making Connections

  • Paddle South and East, up the Isabella River
  • Paddle West, down the Isabella River


  • Fisher F-4, One, Two, Three, Four, Bald Eagle, Insula Lakes
  • McKenzie 19, Isabella Lake


  • DNR Lake No. 380465
  • Lake Map No. N/A
  • Lake Table No. 6A
  • MDH Fish Consumption Advisory - N/A
  • MPCA Water Quality - N/A
Rice Lake
Scale 1:21420
Full image approximately 2 miles square


Rice is an oval shaped lake, ¾ mile north/south and ½ mile wide, on a bend of the Isabella River 22½ miles southeast of Ely, 3 miles northwest of Forest Center. Rice is surrounded by low boggy ground and supports extensive stands of wild rice (Zizania aquatica). A small stream entering from the east drains Flapper, Pelt, and Fallen Arch lakes into Rice, which is connected by shallow, wild rice choked channel to the Isabella River. A mile and a quarter downstream on the Isabella is the mouth of Diana Creek

The forests to the south and east of Rice date from fires of 1864, intermixed with somewhat older stands of 1824 origin. To the north and west of Rice is the large expanse of forest sprung up on the north side of the Isabella River after the big 1854 blaze. The Independence Day windstorms of 1999 did no significant damage in the Rice Lake area.


Rice supports but two established campsites, one on the western shore of the lake and the other on a nearby island.

Planning Considerations

Rice offers an overnight stopover spot on the Isabella River route as well as an opportunity to explore the small streams, bogs, and remote lakes to the east.


The shallows of Rice and the nearby Isabella are prime moose habitat.

Notes and Comments

With the wild rice fields of the lake and the adjacent Isabella River, Rice is one of the most aptly named lakes in the BWCA.

Line of Spruce Trees

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Last updated on 11 April, 2004