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Great Lakes

Travel Guide North America Great Lakes

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Introduction

Sunset on Lake Superior

Sunset on Lake Superior

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The Great Lakes, consisting of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, are some of the most amazing features of North America and are located on the Canada - United States border. These giant bodies of freshwater seem like oceans and offer great opportunities for relaxation and adventure. If you want to hang out on the beach at Union Pier, hike the Superior Trail or explore the wilderness of Isle Royale National Park there is plenty to do along the shoreline or in the water. With a total surface of 208,610 km², and a total volume of 22,560 km3 together they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, together holding over 20% of the world's fresh water.

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Geography

The Great Lakes region also contains numerous minor lakes and rivers, as well as approximately 35,000 islands. Lake Superior is about 31,700 sq miles, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan follow with 23,010 and 22,400 square miles respectively. Lake Erie is about 9,940 square miles and the smallest is Lake Ontario with 7,540 square miles. The latter is also located about 100 metres lower than the other four lakes. Lake Superior is the deepst of them all, averaging 150 metres deep with a maximum drop over 400 metres.

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Cities

These are the most important cities around each lake:

Lake Erie

Lake Huron

Day 17 - Iron River joining Lake Superior

Day 17 - Iron River joining Lake Superior

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Lake Michigan

Lake Ontario

Lake Superior

Diving into beautiful Lake Superior

Diving into beautiful Lake Superior

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Weather

Temperatures can range from 40 °C in summer (June to early September) -40 °C during cold winter nights. Rain is mostly in the form of heavy downpours (thunderstorms) in summer and can be persistent throughout spring and fall. Snow and frost is common in winter, especially in Canada and the northern half of the USA, occasionally even in Texas. The Great Lakes generally are not prone to extreme heath or cold and are outside the hurricane area or "Tornado Alley", though tornadoes can reach it southern parts sometimes.

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Getting There

By Train

There are possibilities to reach the specific states or provinces by train. Check Canada's ViaRail website or Amtrak for routes in the USA.

By Bus

Check Greyhound US and Greyhound Canada for details about routes, prices and schedules.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National.

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Sleep

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This is version 7. Last edited at 12:46 on Apr 11, 11 by Utrecht. 5 articles link to this page.

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