How many lakes are in Forest Lake?

Albert Howard

How many lakes are in Forest Lake?

Did you know that out of all the states, Minnesota has the most lakes? It’s because of the glaciers that carved out these basins thousands of years ago. You have probably heard of the saying, “10,000 lakes.” Well, that’s not really an accurate number, since there are actually 11,842 lakes in Minnesota and of those 11,842 lakes, 5 of them are in the city of Forest Lake. We are going to take a look at those 5 lakes and see what makes them each special. And if you are looking for Forest Lake, MN landscaping, Making Solid Ground Lawn Care is your go-to Lawn care company.

1) Forest Lake

Located in Washington county, this lake is the biggest out of all the lakes in Forest Lake. It has a surface area of  2,220 and a maximum depth of 37 feet. There are over 8,160 acres of land and water that drain into Forest Lake including Clear Lake, Twin Lake, Elwell Lake and Cranberry Lake. The shape of the lake creates three basins which are west (Lake 1), center (Lake 2) and east (Lake 3). Each lake has its own landing for public access and is highly used for recreation.

When it comes to fishing, Forest Lake offers a wide assortment of fish to choose from. The variety of fish includes black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, largemouth bass, walleye and northern pike. The best time to fish is in May and June, but there’s still good fishing to be had in July, August and September. Most fish are average size, but there’s always a chance to catch a trophy.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stocks the lake with walleye fry and fingerling muskies. The stocking usually happens in early June. Therefore, you will never run out of things to do when you’re at Forest Lake.

2) Clear Lake

This is one of the four lakes that drain into Forest Lake. It is located east of I-35 and south of Forest Lake Exit. It has a surface area of 31 acres and a maximum depth of 27 feet. Clear Lake is known for its clear water and diverse fish population. This lake has been voted the best Walleye fishing lake in the area since anglers can catch trophy-sized fish. The lake also supports a healthy population of largemouth bass, northern pike, black crappie, bluegill and Bullhead species.

Clear lake is also very popular for ice fishing. Ice anglers will be in for a treat as there’s an abundance of walleye and crappie during this cold season Visitors to this lake are advised to practice caution as the lake contains the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. Make sure you remove all plants and animals from your boat, fishing gear and clothing before leaving the lake to prevent the spread of this plant.

3) Elwell Lake

This is another one of the five lakes that drain into Forest Lake. It covers an area of approximately 9 acres. To find this local gem, just enter coordinate 45.269688 latitudes and -92.897995 longitude into your GPS. To fish here, one must abide by the rules and regulations set by Washington County. You must also obtain licenses and permits before fishing unless you are under the age of 16, over 90 years old or a veteran.

4) Cranberry Lake

This lake is not to be confused with the other Cranberry Lake which is located in Itasca State Park. This particular Cranberry Lake is located just 3.5 miles from Forest Lake. The surface area of the lake is about 21 acres. Do not let this small size fool you as the lake is still large enough for swimming, fishing and other recreational activities. The lake stocks the usual fish types found in Washington county including black crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, and bluegill.

5) Twin Lake

The last lake on our list is known as Twin Lake. As the name suggests, this lake is actually two lakes that are connected by a small channel. These smaller lakes are better suited for swimming, canoeing and kayaking as there’s less chance of running into large waves. The fish found in these lakes include largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill and Walleye.

All these lakes are great for a day out with family and friends. Pack a picnic lunch, and some fishing gear and enjoy the day surrounded by natural beauty.


Forest Lake is a great destination for those who love the outdoors. With its many lakes, there’s something for everyone whether you enjoy fishing, swimming, canoeing or just relaxing by the water. So what are you waiting for? Head on down to Forest Lake today!