Forest Lake is a city in Washington County, Minnesota, United States, located 27 miles northeast of Saint Paul. The population was 18,375 at the 2010 census. The 2019 population is 20,933.
Forest Lake began as a stop on 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 year at the former location of city hall (220 N. Lake Street). The city of Forest Lake was incorporated on July 11, 1893 with 175 residents. In 2001, the city annexed the surrounding former Forest Lake Township.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.54 square miles (92.05 km2); 30.56 square miles (79.15 km2) is land and 4.98 square miles (12.90 km2) is water.
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.