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Facts About Lake Huron

Lake Huron is a boater's paradise. • Credit: Rob Stimpson
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Facts About Lake Huron

10 Cool Facts about Lake Huron we bet you didn't know

Since we've given you the Top 10 Facts About Lake Superior, it was time to share some interesting facts about Lake Huron. Below are 10 facts that we bet you didn't know.

1. Lake Huron is the second-largest Great Lake with a surface area of 23,000 square miles – slightly smaller than the state of West Virginia – making it the fifth-largest freshwater lake in the world.

2. It has the longest shoreline of the Great Lakes, extending 3,827 miles, and is home to 30,000 islands.

3. Ojibwe legend tells of the water monster "Mishebeshu" (great lynx), who is said to have an underwater den near the mouth of the Serpent River that flows into Lake Huron.

4. Lake Huron was the first of the Great Lakes that European explorers came across and even listed Georgian Bay as a separate sixth lake because it's nearly separated by Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula.

5. There have been more than 1,000 shipwrecks on the lake, with many still at the bottom. Some are preserved as artifacts; Fathom Five National Marine Park is home to 22 of these wrecks.

6. Lake Huron is connected to Lake Michigan by the Straits of Mackinac. Because of this, technically these two lakes are one lake. What you do think?

7. Along the northwestern shore of Lake Huron, "puddingstone" or "Jasper Conglomerate" is sourced from St. Joseph Island. English settlers in the early 1800s gave the stone its unusual name because it looked like boiled suet pudding with currants and red cherries.

8. Georgian Bay on Lake Huron is large enough to be among the world's 20 largest lakes – even though Georgian Bay is not a lake!

9. On a 1656 map by Nicolas Sanson, the lake is referred to as "Karegnondi", a Wendat word meaning "lake." On most early European maps, the lake was labelled "Lac des Hurons" (Lake of the Huron). French explorers originally called Lake Huron "La Mer Douce" or the sweet/fresh-water sea.

10. The Benjamin Islands in the North Channel is a must for boaters. Cruisers will find the perfect coves for anchoring surrounded by the beauty of the pink granite rock.

Bonus Facts

11. Lake Huron was hit by the worst storm ever to hit one of the Great Lakes on November 3, 1913. The storm produced wind gusts of 90 mph (145 kph) and ocean-like waves of more than 35 feet. The storm lasted 16 hours, sank 10 ships, and killed 235 seamen. No wonder they called it the "The Big Blow!"

12. Lake Huron is the third largest of the Great Lakes in volume, with 850 cubic miles of water.

13. On September 11, 1996, the Lake Huron cyclone, or Hurricane Huron, formed over the lake, and satellite images revealed that it resembled a tropical hurricane, complete with an 18-mile (30-km) wide eye.

14. Fort St. Joseph, on St. Joseph Island on the North Channel of Lake Huron, played a defining role in the War of 1812. Fort St. Joseph was the rallying point when the United States declared war on Great Britain in 1812. A force of British soldiers, First Nations, and Canadians left the fort to capture the American fort on Mackinac Island. This was the first military maneuver (and one without bloodshed) in the War of 1812.

15. In 2014, an ancient land bridge, currently underwater, that joined Ambersley, Ontario to Alpena, Michigan was discovered. This discovery revealed an ancient caribou hunting blind that dates back to nearly 9,000 years. You can read more hereThis fact was sent to us by Steve in London, Ontario.

lakehuron boating islandsCruising some of the 30,000 islands on Lake Huron.
brucebaycottages northchannel lakehuronSunset on the North Channel of Lake Huron. (Photo credit: Bruce Bay Cottages & Lighthouse)
bassfishing whalesback channel lakehuron
There is amazing fishing in Lake Huron for smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, trout, salmon, and even muskie!
lighthouse spanish ontario
Visit the lighthouse near the Spanish Marina. It was inspired by the lighthouse on Clapperton Island.
mckaylighthouseThe McKay Island Lighthouse is the only housekeeping lighthouse in Ontario. (Photo credit: Bruce Bay Cottages)

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