10 Facts About Lake Erie

Lake Erie touches Michigan’s border, but it does not get as much attention as the Great Lakes with long shorelines along with the majority of the state. While it might not be talked about as often, it is unique and worth learning about. Here are some interesting Lake Erie facts.   

1. Lake Erie’s shoreline touches the most states.

Lake Erie’s shoreline runs along Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in the United States. The shoreline also touches Ontario, Canada. The Lake boarded by many large cities with populations of over 50,000.  

2. It’s one of the smallest of the Great Lakes.

Lake Erie is the smallest by volume of the Great Lakes. It is also the shallowest of the five lakes with an average dept of 62 feet and reaching 210 feet at its maximum depth. Due to its smaller size and being the most southern, Lake Erie is the warmest of all of the lakes. It is also often the first to freeze due to being the smallest and shallowest.  

3. Smallest by volume, but not by surface area.

In terms of surface area, Lake Erie is the fourth when it comes to the surface area. Lake Erie is larger than Lake Ontario by roughly 2,500 square miles. While Lake Erie isn’t in last, it is well behind the other three lakes in terms of surface area. Lake Michigan, which is third in terms of surface area, is over 12,000 square miles bigger.

4. Lake Erie is well connected.

Lake Erie has numerous connecting waterways, many of which were significant when trading goods. Lake Erie is connected to Lake Ontario by the Niagara River, which includes Niagara Falls. If you bypass Niagara Falls, the two Great Lakes are also connected by the Welland Canal. The Detroit River is a connecting point for Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair too.

5. There is a sea monster in Lake Erie.

Bessie, the sea monster in Lake Erie, is similar to the Loch Ness monster. The first sighting of Bessie occurred in 1783, but many have claimed to see the sea monster frequently in recent years. Lake Erie isn’t the only Great Lake with a sea monster. Lake Huron has a sea monster too!

6. The Battle of Lake Erie was over Detroit.

A naval battle took place between the United States and the British during the War of 1812. After the Battle, the British were forced to give up control of Detroit, Lake Erie and the territorial northwest.  

7. Lake Erie has the most shipwrecks.

Over 2,000 shipwrecks have happened in Lake Erie, but only 375 have been found. Everything from fishing boats to steamers and ferries to tugboats has sunk in Lake Erie.   

8. The grapes that make your wine might have grown along Lake Erie.

You can thank the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt for some delicious wine. The area is 30,000 acres of grapes running from New York to Pennsylvania along the Eastern shore. Pelee Island in Lake Erie also is known as a great place to grow grapes for wine.

9. Pelee Island is one of 31 islands in Lake Erie.

Pelee Island is the largest island in the lake and one of the 13 in Canadian waters. Another popular Canadian island is Kelleys Island, which a ferry regularly runs to. The ferry transports people and cars across the lake to the popular Island for boating and kayaking. The other 18 are within the boarders of the United States. Indian Island and Gard Island are both part of Michigan, while the state shares Turtle Island with Ohio.

10. Dr. Seuss once wrote about Lake Erie.

The first line of The Lorax used to be a dig at Lake Erie. Eventually, the line was removed after the Ohio Sea Grant Program contacted Dr. Seuss about Lake Erie’s improved conditions.

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