About the Area

The settlement of Forest Lake, Minnesota, began shortly after the completion of the St. Paul/Duluth Railroad in 1869. Summer cabins gradually morphed into year-round residences, resulting in the city as it is today. With a population of 18,375 according to the 2010 census, the city maintains its small-town feel by encouraging citizens to use the area’s many parks, playgrounds, swimming beaches, and sports centers. The city thrives on its numerous programs in the arts, schools, and community activism. The city also holds a large Independence Day celebration, earning it the title of the “4th of July capital of Minnesota.” Forest Lake is known as a great fishing location due to high populations of northern pike, largemouth bass, walleye, pan fish, and muskie and was touted as the “bass capital of Minnesota” during the 1960s and 1970s.

Birchwood Health Care Center, located only a block away from the lake, was built in 1964 and accommodates Birchwood’s memory care, rehabilitation and therapy, and skilled nursing areas. In 2003, Birchwood Arbors was added to accommodate assisted living. In the spring of 2007, Birchwood was purchased by Senior Care Communities, Inc. (SCC).

The Birchwood team looks forward to continue providing excellent care to the people of Forest Lake and the surrounding areas for many years to come.

Forest Lake Fun Facts

  • The first Boy Scout troop in Minnesota was formed in July 1910 in Forest Lake.
  • The Forest Lake Split, which marks the separation of highways 35W and 35E, is just south of Forest Lake. The split was featured in the Mary Tyler Moore Show’s original 1970 opening title sequence.
  • Forest Lake’s Hitching Post Motel can be seen in the 1996 Academy Award-winning movie Fargo.
  • The world’s first floating heliport was built in Forest Lake in 1956.
  • Former vice president of the United States, Walter Mondale, lived in Forest Lake at one time.
  • The Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area is located in Forest Lake. The internationally-acclaimed Wildlife Science Center, which houses the United State’s largest captive population of privately maintained wolves, is just outside of Forest Lake.
  • Helen Fowler, Maud Hart Lovelace’s sister and the inspiration for the character of Margaret in the Betsy-Tacy book series, was a resident of Forest Lake.
  • Jack Trudeau, former quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, was born in Forest Lake.
  • Minnesota’s largest black ash tree is located near Sunrise Creek in Forest Lake.