Stretching across eight US states and the Canadian province of Ontario, the Great Lakes are huge inland seas containing 21% of the world’s surface fresh water.
The five lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario – were carved out by retreating glaciers some 10,000 years ago and are connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. They have long been a major transportation route for industrial materials such as iron ore, coal and limestone.
More details about this trip here.
However, in stark contrast, the lakes also provide crucial wildlife habitats and are a scenic backdrop for a wide range of outdoor activities such as kayaking, diving, boating and fishing.
Visitors are struck by the clarity of these pristine waters, the silence of the forested wilderness and the variety of wildlife to be seen, from moose, deer and migratory birds to bears and eagles.
It’s easy to explore some of the thousands of tranquil lighthouse-peppered islands while the quaint towns and resurgent cities provide vibrant nightlife and dynamic museums, and are greatly influenced by the lakes themselves.