Rieck's Lake - Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge

This site is just one stopping point along the 261 mile long Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge established by Congress in 1924.  The north end of the refuge begins at the confluence of the Mississippi and Chippewa rivers near Wabasha, Minnesota and ends near Rock Island, Illinois.

From an overlook you can see the backwater marsh. During fall, waterfowl use this location to feed and rest. The area is closed to waterfowl hunting.

Emergent aquatic plants grow well in this marsh. You will see bur-reed stalks jutting out of the water.  Attached to the stalks may be a newly emerged dragonfly drying its wings.  Cattails will be swaying in the breeze.  The brown velvety spikes of the cattails and the call of the red-wing blackbird are part of the scenery.  On top of the water is the free-floating duckweed drifting with the wind from one place to another.


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Latitude: 44.352185 Longitude: -91.929503 Elevation: 665 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Cindy Samples

Recreational Opportunities

Wildlife Observation
You can see aquatic plants, birds and muskrats from the observation deck.  This location was once a tundra swan resting area in fall, however the backwater marsh has silted in to the point that the habitat best serves puddles ducks in the fall. Only a few tundra swans may be spotted in the fall. The Brownsville Overlook in Brownsville, Minnesota offers an opportunity to view thousands of swans in the fall.

A private campground is adjacent to the overlook.

Seasons Accessible

This overlook is accessible during spring, summer and fall.  Winter snows may prohibit entry of vehicles. You are welcome to park and walk in to overlook to view the white winter landscape.


There is no fee to the overlook.

Accessibility Notes

Visitors access the overlook using a ramp.  The parking lot is paved and the marsh can be seen from the parking lot.  The road to the campground is gravel.

Pet Friendly Notes

 All pets must be on a leash 6' or less.

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