Birch Lake, Minnesota, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Birch Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Birch Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Birch Lake

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.

Things to Do at Birch Lake

  • 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

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

Find Places to Stay at Birch Lake

If you’re considering a Birch Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Birch Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Birch Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Birch Lake 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

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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