Birch Lakes State Forest
|Birch Lakes State Forest|
|Location||Stearns County, Minnesota, United States|
|Area||710 acres (290 ha)|
|Governing body||Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,|
|WWF Classification||Upper Midwest forest-savanna transition|
|EPA Classification||North Central Hardwood Forests/Western Corn Belt Plains|
The Birch Lakes State Forest is a state forest located in Stearns County, Minnesota. One of the smallest Minnesota state forests, it is managed primarily for recreation by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Big Birch Lake, a 2,112 acres (855 ha) sand- and marl-bottomed lake, is accessible from the northeast corner of the forest. The forest is located in a transitory ecotone between the temperate deciduous forest to the northeast and the tallgrass prairie to the southwest, with the rolling terrain characteristic of the glacial activity in the area.
Outdoor recreation activities include boating, fishing, swimming in Big Birch Lake, as well as hunting, picnicking, and backcountry camping in the forest. Trails include 7 miles (11 km) of hiking, 7 miles (11 km) of mountain biking, and 4.1 miles (6.6 km) for snowmobiling.