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The City of Saint Paul acquired the land in 1899 at a cost of $22,000. The park was opened to the public soon after. The park named after early settler Edward Phalen whose last name was variously spelled. Phalen staked one of the first claims to the land around Phalen Creek. Also available are the following: paved trails, tot lot, 1 fire ring on island, swimming beach, golf clubhouse/banquet facility, Lakeside Activities Center, sand volleyball court near beach area, tennis courts, racquetball courts at Maryland and Johnson Parkway and barbecue grills which are located around the site.