Birch Lake, Minnesota, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Birch Lake MN.

If you’re considering Birch Lake MN vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Birch Lake MN guide!

Birch Lake MN visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Midwest - Minnesota - Northeast -

Located in St. Louis County Minnesota and the Superior National Forest, Birch Lake is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the concrete civilizations and a step back to the country as it was for the early settlers. However, with many great vacation rentals around the lake, you can still appreciate the rustic natural beauty and have the modern conveniences to make your stay more enjoyable unlike the early settlers.

Birch Lake was formed in the late 19th century during the logging boom in the surrounding forests. The logging companies used reservoirs to float the cut logs to the river where the logs were then transported to sawmills. After the logging industry faded, a small hydroelectric facility was built in 1922 to utilize the existing reservoir system, which today is part of the Minnesota Power system.

With an area of over 5,600 acres and more than 80 miles of shoreline, there is plenty of Birch Lake to explore. With many bays and inlets along its 20 mile length, it is a canoeist’s dream to paddle along the jagged shore. If you are not into paddling, then rent a houseboat to cruise the water in style and with the comforts of home. Of course, if speed is more your specialty, unlimited horsepower boating is allowed. Waterskiing, jet skiing, sailing, wakeboarding, and windsurfing are also alternative ways to explore. With many public launches and marinas, you will have no problem finding a place to launch your watercraft of choice.

Black crappie, bluegill, northern pike, lake trout, rock bass, smallmouth bass, cisco, walleye, white sucker, and yellow perch provide plenty of sport for avid fishermen. Local guides and outfitters can provide insight and needed bait and tackle to help you have a successful outing. Birch Lake is home to several fishing tournaments drawing both professional and eager novice anglers.

The city of Babbitt’s many shops, dining locations, outfitters, and vacation rentals can supply most of your vacation needs for your time on Birch Lake. Babbitt is located in St. Louis County which contains a national forest, a national park, state parks, and over 1000 lakes. The county seat is Duluth which is an international seaport. The area has multiple championship golf courses, including one named in the “World’s Top 6 Golf Destinations,” that has helped this part of Minnesota become a top golf vacation destination.

Superior National Forest has more than 2,000 lakes in addition to Birch Lake. Almost one third of the forest lies within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) which is a paddler’s paradise. The BWCAW is a federally protected wilderness preserve with the majority of the lakes designated as paddle only; marked overland trails link the lakes where you must carry your canoe and gear to the next lake. The BWCAW offers approximately 1,500 miles of canoe routes with over 60 entry points to allow an experience of one day to several days; many primitive campsites line the route to allow for overnight stays.

Real estate opportunities for lake front homes on Birch Lake and other lakes in the Superior National Forest are available and the many wonders of the forest can be at your doorstep. Trails for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding and snowmobiling meander all through the wooded landscape. Hunting for deer, bear, moose, grouse, snowshoe hares, and waterfowl is available in season. Wildlife viewing is as easy as opening your curtains with a forest hideaway home. And, of course, with all the nearby lakes, you could fish at a different lake every day of the year. But if you can not relocate, then take advantage of the many vacation rentals to enjoy a visit from resorts, bed and breakfast inns, vacation homes, cabins, lodges, and campgrounds.

Come for visit, sit by a cozy fire, listen to the sounds of nature and enjoy the unspoiled nature as you unwind. Year round recreation opportunities are plentiful at Birch Lake and Babbitt but there are also ample opportunities for just sitting still and resting. No matter how you choose to spend your time you will leave with lasting memories of your trip.

Custom Birch Lake MN house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Birch Lake MN

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Birch Lake MN

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Cisco
  • Crappie
  • Lake Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sucker
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Birch Lake MN

The Birch Lake MN map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

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Birch Lake MN photo gallery

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Birch Lake MN statistics & helpful links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Minnesota Power

Surface Area: 5,628 acres

Shoreline Length: 80 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,420 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,416 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,422 feet

Maximum Depth: 25 feet

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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