Weekends In Central Minnesota Are Made For Parks Like This One!
Can I “Park” Here?
Coming from outside the St. Cloud area, one of the first things my wife and I noticed is that this area is “rich” in parks. From smaller, quaint parks to parks that run along the Mississippi River, there are many options for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the outdoors here. We realize as they said in “Game of Thrones” “Winter Is Coming”, we thought we’d venture out and enjoy the beautiful weather Sunday. We took our dog “Latte” and had an absolute blast.
“Mississippi River County Park”
Six miles North of Sartell, we made our way to Mississippi River County Park, which is made up of 230 acres along 1.3 miles of the Mississippi River. “Oh My”, we couldn’t believe how much there was to do. Even if you’re not an outdoor enthusiast you would have to work mighty hard to not enjoy this area. There are natural surface trails for walking, biking, and taking your four-legged friend for a stroll.
If you’re bringing your dog, please don’t ignore the signs that say you should keep your dog on a leash and pick up after them. There are several places just like this to clean up after Fido.
One of the things that impressed us was how flat and well taken care of most of the trails were. If you know someone who has mobility issues or who can’t maneuver uneven ground very well, these trails allow them to enjoy the scenery of the beauty of the forested areas and the river.
The terrain was perfect for walking Latte, who was busy most of the time following all the different scents that were present.
In the winter, trails for Cross Country Skiing are available for use and the Great Minnesota Ski Pass is not required.
We noticed several boats, canoes, and kayaks in the water, and as you can see from the parking lot, the water access point in this park is quite popular. If you’re not a boater don’t worry, bring the family and use one of the picnic tables and enjoy the areas near the tables for fun activities. For those who are looking for low-cost ways to entertain the family, this is it. Your kids are bound to expel a lot of energy here which could mean a quiet night around your place. Fishing can also be done from the shoreline in spots along the river.
The Mississippi River County Park is an excellent place for those who play disc golf, as there are clear-cut paths to outline at least where the disc should go. This course is maintained during the summer months, and hopefully, your disc doesn’t go too far off course into the woods. (If your throwing is as bad as my golf shots, you may want to only throw neon-colored discs?)
Another great feature is the Archery Range which is open from May to October. Archers can shoot at the range at their own risk from 30 minutes prior to Sunrise until 30 minutes after Sundown.
Camping in the Park
We were impressed with the care that goes into making this park so user-friendly and was somewhat surprised to find out that bona fide youth groups (Scouts, Church Youth Groups, Clubs, etc.) can camp in the park for free. But you do need to reserve the campsite ahead of time. There are even campsites for those who are exploring the area on bicycles. Bicyclists can spend a night at one of the bicycle campsites that are located near the firepit.
Reserve The “Open Air Shelter”
Being that we are living 1,200 miles from our family and friends, it’s not likely that we’ll be reserving the “Open Air Shelter”, but if you’re looking to host a family reunion or birthday party, this location is perfect. As you can see, the shelter is open on all sides and features a large charcoal grill, picnic tables, and restrooms. Plus, the kids will enjoy the swings, and a wide-open area to run and play. Rental on the “Open Air Shelter” is $60 per day and there is a surcharge for weddings.
See I Told You So
I told you there’s a lot to do at Mississippi River County Park, which is located at 41300 County Road 1 in Rice and is open from 6am to 11pm. See the Summer and Winter Maps that are provided online and make plans to enjoy this area sometime soon.
Come Visit Rice, Minnesota With Us