Forest Lake, Minnesota

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Forest Lake is a city in Washington County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 6,798 at the 2000 census. It is located on a lake of the same name, part of the drainage basin of the Sunrise River.

Interstate 35 and U.S. Routes 8 and 61 are three of the main arterial routes in the city.



Forest Lake began as a stop for the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad. The first train reached Forest Lake on December 23, 1868. The lake was so named for the abundant timber that lines its shores. Forest Lake Township was organized on March 11, 1874; The first one-room school was built that same year, which stood at the present day location of city hall. The city of Forest Lake was incorporated on July 11, 1893 with 175 residents. In 2001, the city annexed the Forest Lake Township.[3]


Forest Lake has a high population of Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, and lots of Pan Fish (Blugill, Crappie, and Perch). It also holds Muskie, while the numbers are relatively low, the average size is becoming quite large, making for a trophy fishery.[citation needed]


The first newspaper, The Enterprise, was printed in 1903. It was changed in 1907 to The Forest Lake Advertiser and later to The Forest Lake Times, in 1916 as it remains to this day. The Forest Lake Press is another local paper.


  • The Tin Man (was removed in 2006)
  • Forest Lake
  • Lakeside Park (Located on the northwest side of the Lake)
  • The Hitching Post Motel was featured in the 1996 Coen Brothers movie Fargo (film)


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.2 square miles (11.0 km²), of which, 4.2 square miles (10.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (1.18%) is water.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 6,798 people, 2,805 households, and 1,744 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,620.8 people per square mile (626.4/km²). There were 2,897 housing units at an average density of 690.7/sq mi (267.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.18% White, 0.40% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.00% of the population.

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