The city of Prior Lake lies in Scott County in an area known as South of the River, in the south-southwest portion of Minneapolis–St. Paul, the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Named after General Winfield Scott, Scott County was created in 1853. Some settlers had entered the county in the 1830s to trade with the Indians and to farm; however, the general settlement did not begin until the 1850s. Settlers came into the Prior Lake area following the Indian trails.
Opportunities in commercial and industrial development are increasing due to growth and improved highway accessibility and infrastructure upgrades. Prior Lake’s downtown environment has been revitalized by the Main Avenue and Dakota Street streetscaping project and a façade improvement program.
Prior Lake features many recreational amenities including more than 54 parks on 1,000 acres, over 100 miles of trails and sidewalks and 14 lakes. Golfing opportunities abound in the Prior Lake area with the Wild’s Golf Club, Legends Golf Club, Heritage Links Golf Club, Cleary Lake Golf Course and the Meadows at Mystic Lake Golf Course.
The high school students of Prior Lake attend Prior Lake High School in the neighboring town of Savage. The Prior Lake-Savage School District hosts two Middle Schools which serve students in grades 6-8. Grade levels K through 5 are served by 7 Elementary Schools. Prior Lake also has a private Roman Catholic parochial school, St. Michael Catholic School, which serves grades PreK through 8.
The U.S. Census Bureau recorded the population of the city of Prior Lake at 22,796 people at the 2010 census.
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