Forest Township at a glance...

Forest Township is in the heart of Minnesota lakes country near Itasca State Park and Park Rapids, MN. ( Click here for map )

  • Two largest lakes: Bad Medicine & Big Basswood
  • Other Lakes: Bass, Equay, Gardner, Kneebone, Little Basswood, Mallard, Missouri, Sockeye & Wahbegon
  • Total Area: 36 sq. miles; 32.4 sq. miles of land & 3.6 sq. miles of water
  • Population: 84 residents
History of Forest Township

Bad Medicine LakeForest Township lakes and terrain were formed more than 10,000 years ago with the retreat of the glaciers. By the 1600s, the Dakota Indians were replaced by the Ojibwa people, who were followed by the first white settlers. The first white settlers came in the 1800s drawn here by the abundance of natural resources. Hunting, fishing, trapping, logging, and farming spawned a local economy that blended the cultures of the people of the area.

Permanent settlers meant the establishment of local government. The geographic area now known as Forest Township was originally part of Round Lake Township, which was established on June 20,1921. In 1978, Round Lake Township residents voted to rescind the township zoning ordinance. This initiated 28 future Forest Township residents to sign a petition dated January 4, 1979, to split from Round Lake Township. The fundamental reason for the petition to form a new township was prompted by the desire to protect the Bad Medicine Lake area from overdevelopment. "Forest" was suggested as the name for the new township. The first official meetings for Forest Township were held at Bad Medicine Resort from 1979 to 1989.

The Forest Township Hall located at 35406 East Bad Medicine Lake Road was built in 1989. The first meeting was held there on July 10, 1989.