Great Lakes Fun Facts You Should Know

The Great Lakes is one of the most crucial waterways in the entire United States as it serves as an access point for both commercial transportation and recreational travel. Additionally, the Lakes are a valuable resource and the largest body of freshwater on the planet. If you have never seen the Lakes in person it may be difficult to fully appreciate the size and magnificence as they cover over 94,000 square miles. That makes the total area almost as big as all of the UK.

Many people have not had the pleasure of vacationing in or visiting the Great Lakes area. It is an area that is full of amazing adventure, beautiful scenery and incredible destinations that offer an experience like no other place on the globe. Delicious food, world class shopping, water sports, art festivals and many other Great Lakes offerings are enjoyed by millions of people each year. However, the Great Lakes area offers more than just good, shopping and fun activities.

The area is rich in history, natural resources and full of interesting things most people never even know about. Therefore, if you are interested in the layer beneath the surface of the Great Lakes, then read on and dig a little deeper.

Great Lakes Fun Facts

The Great Lakes are the biggest area of fresh water on the entire globe and they account for one fifth of all the fresh water in the world, several quadrillion gallons of fresh water. The total area in square miles is just over 95,000 in size. The Great Lakes region is home to over three thousand five hundred different types of plant life and wildlife which includes just under two hundred different species of fish.

More than thirteen thousand years ago, the Great Lakes region was entirely covered over by a glacier. As time passed and the glacier melted, it left the indentations in the earth filled with water that we now know as the five Great Lakes, although their current geographical form was not present until about ten thousand years ago.

The first European to set foot in the Great Lakes area was part of Samuel de Champlain's crew, a French explorer. The man's name was Etienne Brule and he often served as a guide for Champlain and would explore areas first before the main crew and Champlain himself would visit an area. According to the history books, Brule arrived in the Great Lakes area in 1615.

The Lakes have over 30,000 islands in the area, the largest of which is Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron. The island is over 1,060 square miles in size and also the biggest island of any inland waterway in the world.

Lake Huron

This lake was named for the Indians that inhabited the area many years ago, the Wyandot or Huron Indians. Lake Huron contains the most shoreline of any of the five Great Lakes with over 3,800 miles of total shoreline.

Lake Superior

This is the largest lake in the Great Lakes region and spans over 31,000 square miles. The lake's name is derived from the French word for superior, superieur.

Lake Michigan

The Ojibwa Indians named this lake Large Lake or in their language Mishigami, although it is only the third biggest lake among the Great Lakes. This is the only lake that is located entirely within the United States borders as all of the rest venture across into Canada.

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario was named by the Huron Indians as well and represents their word for shining water. This is the smallest lake of all five Great Lakes but still offers some of the best destinations and sites in the region.

Lake Erie

This lake was named after the Iroquoian Indian term that translates to long tail, a description of the lakes shape. It is fourth on the list of the five Great Lakes in terms of size.

Fun Facts and Unique Great Lakes History

There is no question the rich and deep history of the Great Lakes region adds to the experience of travelers. As you make your way around to different locations within the region, you will see how its deep historical roots have influenced area.

Additionally, there are various historical sites that make visiting the area that much more enjoyable as it gives you an opportunity to see things you can't find anywhere else. The British Fort used in the Battle of 1812, old style Victorian Homes and remnants of a time in the past are sprinkled throughout the Great Lakes region.