Payne – Phalen Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Over the years the ethnic dynamic of Payne–Phalen has changed—but the lake remains at its center. Located at the northern corner of the neighborhood and St. Paul (a portion extends into suburban Maplewood), Lake Phalen, the city’s original water supply, was acquired in 1899. The 278-acre public park opened in time for the first wave of predominantly Swedish immigration, and each successive generation has swum at the swimming beach and picnicked in the park.
The eastside neighborhood has remained solidly blue collar as Italians, Latinos, and, most recently, Mexicans and the Hmong from Southeast Asia arrived. The ethnic minority from Laos fought against the communist Pathet Lao during the Vietnam War. In 1975 the federal government recognized their service, and over four decades 250,000 Hmong moved to the U.S. Today only Minnesota trails California in total number of Hmong residents."