Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

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Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and the only one located entirely within the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

 and Lake Huron
Lake Huron
Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Hydrologically, it comprises the larger portion of Lake Michigan-Huron. It is bounded on the east by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the west by the state of Michigan in the United States...

 (and is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

). Hydrologically
Hydrology
Hydrology is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability...

, the lake is a large bay of Lake Michigan-Huron
Lake Michigan-Huron
Lake Michigan-Huron is geologically the largest of the North American Great Lakes. Traditionally considered to be two separate lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, it is hydrologically a single body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac....

, having the same surface elevation as Lake Huron
Lake Huron
Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Hydrologically, it comprises the larger portion of Lake Michigan-Huron. It is bounded on the east by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the west by the state of Michigan in the United States...

 (among other shared properties). It is bounded, from west to east, by the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, and Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

. The word "Michigan" originally referred to the lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

 itself, and is believed to come from the Ojibwa
Ojibwe language
Ojibwe , also called Anishinaabemowin, is an indigenous language of the Algonquian language family. Ojibwe is characterized by a series of dialects that have local names and frequently local writing systems...

 word mishigami meaning "great water".

History


Some of the earliest human inhabitants of the Lake Michigan region were the Hopewell Indians. Their culture declined after 800 A.D., and for the next few hundred years the region was the home of peoples known as the Late Woodland Indians
Woodland period
The Woodland period of North American pre-Columbian cultures was from roughly 1000 BCE to 1000 CE in the eastern part of North America. The term "Woodland Period" was introduced in the 1930s as a generic header for prehistoric sites falling between the Archaic hunter-gatherers and the...

. In the early seventeenth century, when western European explorers made their first forays into the region, they encountered descendants of the Late Woodland Indians: the Chippewa, Menominee
Menominee
Some placenames use other spellings, see also Menomonee and Menomonie.The Menominee are a nation of Native Americans living in Wisconsin. The Menominee, along with the Ho-Chunk, are the only tribes that are indigenous to what is now Wisconsin...

, Sauk, Fox, Winnebago
Ho-Chunk
The Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago, are a tribe of Native Americans, native to what is now Wisconsin and Illinois. There are two federally recognized Ho-Chunk tribes, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska....

, Miami, Ottawa
Ottawa (tribe)
The Odawa or Ottawa, said to mean "traders," are a Native American and First Nations people. They are one of the Anishinaabeg, related to but distinct from the Ojibwe nation. Their original homelands are located on Manitoulin Island, near the northern shores of Lake Huron, on the Bruce Peninsula in...

, and Potawatomi
Potawatomi
The Potawatomi are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi River region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. In the Potawatomi language, they generally call themselves Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and that was applied...

. It is believed that the French explorer Jean Nicolet
Jean Nicolet
Jean Nicolet de Belleborne was a French coureur des bois noted for exploring Green Bay in what is now the U.S. state of Wisconsin.-Life:...

 was the first non-Native American to reach Lake Michigan in 1634 or 1638.

With the advent of European exploration into the area in the late 17th century, Lake Michigan became part of a line of waterways leading from the Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin...

 to the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and thence to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

. French coureurs des bois and voyageurs established small ports and trading communities, such as Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

, on the lake during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The first person to reach the deep bottom of Lake Michigan was J. Val Klump
J. Val Klump
Jeffrey Val Klump is an American limnologist. He was the first person to reach the deepest spot in Lake Superior, a depth of 1333 feet , which is also the lowest point in the United States, on July 30, 1985 while aboard the R/V Seward Johnson with the Johnson-SeaLink-II submersible...

, a scientist at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Klump reached the bottom via submersible
Submersible
A submersible is a small vehicle designed to operate underwater. The term submersible is often used to differentiate from other underwater vehicles known as submarines, in that a submarine is a fully autonomous craft, capable of renewing its own power and breathing air, whereas a submersible is...

 as part of a 1985 research expedition.

Geography


Lake Michigan is the only one of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 wholly within the borders of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

; the others are shared with Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It has a surface area of 22400 square miles (58,015.7 km²), making it the largest lake entirely within one country by surface area (Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

, in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, is larger by water volume), and the fifth largest lake in the world. It is 307 miles (494.1 km) long by 118 miles (189.9 km) wide with a shoreline 1640 miles (2,639.3 km) long. The lake's average depth is 279 feet (85 m), while its greatest depth is 923 feet (281 m). It contains a volume of 1,180 cubic miles (4,918 km³) of water. Its surface averages 577 feet (176 m) above sea level, the same as Lake Huron
Lake Huron
Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Hydrologically, it comprises the larger portion of Lake Michigan-Huron. It is bounded on the east by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the west by the state of Michigan in the United States...

, to which it is connected through the Straits of Mackinac
Straits of Mackinac
The Straits of Mackinac is the strip of water that connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and separates the Lower Peninsula of Michigan from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is a shipping lane providing passage for raw materials and finished goods, connecting, for...

.

Cities


Twelve million people live along Lake Michigan's shores, mainly in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 and Milwaukee. Many small cities in Northern Michigan
Northern Michigan
Northern Michigan, also known as Northern Lower Michigan , is a region of the U.S. state of Michigan...

 and Door County, Wisconsin
Door County, Wisconsin
Door County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2000, the population was 27,961. Its county seat is Sturgeon Bay. Door County is a popular vacation and tourist destination, especially for residents of Wisconsin and Illinois....

 are centered on a tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 base that takes advantage of the beauty and recreational opportunities offered by Lake Michigan. These cities have large seasonal populations that arrive from the nearby urban areas such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids and Detroit, as well as from Southern states
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, such as Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. Some seasonal residents have summer homes along the waterfront and return home for the winter. The southern tip of the lake near Gary, Indiana
Gary, Indiana
Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population is 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh-largest city in the state. It borders Lake Michigan and is known...

 is heavily industrialized
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

. Cities on the shores of Lake Michigan include:


Illinois
  • Chicago
    Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

  • Evanston
    Evanston, Illinois
    Evanston is a suburban municipality in Cook County, Illinois 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, bordering Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north, with an estimated population of 74,360 as of 2003. It is one of the North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan...

  • Glencoe
    Glencoe, Illinois
    Glencoe is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the village population was 8,723. Glencoe is located on suburban Chicago's North Shore. Glencoe is located within the New Trier High School District. Glencoe is regarded as one of the most affluent suburbs on...

  • Highland Park
    Highland Park, Illinois
    Highland Park is a suburban municipality in Lake County, Illinois, United States, about north of downtown Chicago. As of 2009, the population is 33,492. Highland Park is one of several municipalities located on the North Shore of the Chicago Metropolitan Area.-Overview:Highland Park was founded...

  • Kenilworth
    Kenilworth, Illinois
    Kenilworth is a village in Cook County, Illinois, north of downtown Chicago. It is the newest of the nine suburban North Shore communities bordering Lake Michigan, and is the only one developed as a planned community...

  • Lake Forest
    Lake Forest, Illinois
    Lake Forest is an affluent city located in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The city is south of Waukegan along the shore of Lake Michigan, and is a part of the Chicago metropolitan area and the North Shore. Lake Forest was founded around Lake Forest College and was laid out as a town in...

  • North Chicago
    North Chicago, Illinois
    North Chicago is an outer suburb/exurb of the Chicago metropolitan area and is an incorporated city in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 35,918 at the 2000 census....

  • Waukegan
    Waukegan, Illinois
    Waukegan is a city and county seat of Lake County, Illinois. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 87,901. The 2010 population was 89,078. It is the ninth-largest city in Illinois by population...

  • Wilmette
    Wilmette, Illinois
    Wilmette is a village in New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is located north of Chicago's downtown district and has a population of 27,651. Wilmette is considered a bedroom community in the North Shore district...

  • Winnetka
    Winnetka, Illinois
    Winnetka is an affluent North Shore village located approximately north of downtown Chicago in Cook County, Illinois. Winnetka was featured on the list of America's 25 top-earning towns and "one of the best places to live" by CNN Money in 2011...


Indiana
  • East Chicago
    East Chicago, Indiana
    East Chicago is a city in Lake County, Indiana. The population was 29,698 at the 2010 census.-Geography:East Chicago is located at ....

  • Gary
    Gary, Indiana
    Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population is 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh-largest city in the state. It borders Lake Michigan and is known...

  • Hammond
    Hammond, Indiana
    Hammond is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. The population was 80,830 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Hammond is located at ....

  • Michigan City
    Michigan City, Indiana
    Michigan City's origins date to 1830, when the land for the city was first purchased by Isaac C. Elston. Elston Middle School, formerly Elston High School, located at 317 Detroit St., is named after the founder....

  • Portage
    Portage, Indiana
    Portage is a city in Portage Township, Porter County, Indiana, United States. The population was 36,828 as of the 2010 census. It is the largest city in Porter County, and third largest in Northwest Indiana.-Geography:...

  • Porter
    Porter, Indiana
    Porter is a town in Westchester Township, Porter County, Indiana, United States. The population was 4,972 at the 2000 census.Porter is noted for its proximity to the Indiana Dunes State Park and for its railroad heritage...

  • Whiting
    Whiting, Indiana
    Whiting is a city located in the Chicago Metropolitan Area in Lake County, Indiana, which was founded in 1889. The city is located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. It is roughly 16 miles from the Chicago Loop and just short of two miles from Chicago's South Side. Whiting is home to Whiting...


Michigan
  • Benton Harbor
    Benton Harbor, Michigan
    Benton Harbor is a city in Berrien County in the U.S. state of Michigan which is located west of Kalamazoo. The population was 10,038 at the 2010 census. It is the lesser populated of the two principal cities included in the Niles-Benton Harbor, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a...

  • Bridgman
    Bridgman, Michigan
    Bridgman is a city in Berrien County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,428 at the 2000 census. The Bridgman post office, with ZIP code 49106 opened with the name "Laketon" on November 11, 1862. The name changed to Bridgman on April 9, 1874...

  • Charlevoix
    Charlevoix, Michigan
    Charlevoix is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 2,994. It is the county seat of Charlevoix County....

  • Douglas
    Douglas, Michigan
    Douglas is a city in Allegan County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,214 at the 2000 census...

  • Elberta
    Elberta, Michigan
    Elberta is a village in Benzie County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 457 at the 2000 census. The village located in the east of Gilmore Township, on the south side of Lake Betsie, which is formed by the Betsie River before flowing into Lake Michigan. The village is on M-22 just...

  • Escanaba
    Escanaba, Michigan
    Escanaba is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, located in the banana belt on the state's Upper Peninsula. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 13,140, making it the third-largest city in the Upper Peninsula after Marquette and Sault Ste. Marie...

  • Ferrysburg
    Ferrysburg, Michigan
    Ferrysburg is a city in Ottawa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 3,040 at the 2000 census.Spring Lake Township borders the city on the north and east, though it is administratively autonomous. The village of Spring Lake is located to the southeast, on the opposite side of...

  • Frankfort
    Frankfort, Michigan
    Frankfort is a city in Benzie County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,513 at the 2000 census. The elevation of Frankfort is above sea level. The city is situated with Lake Michigan to the west, Lake Betsie, formed by the Betsie River before flowing into Lake Michigan, on the...

  • Gladstone
    Gladstone, Michigan
    Gladstone is a city in Delta County in the U.S. state of Michigan. First settled in 1877, Gladstone's original name was Saunders Point. The population was 5,032 at the 2000 census....

  • Glen
  • Grand Beach
    Grand Beach, Michigan
    Grand Beach is a village in Berrien County of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 221. The village is within New Buffalo Township on the shore of Lake Michigan near to the Michigan-Indiana border.-Geography:...

  • Grand Haven
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    Grand Haven is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and is the county seat of Ottawa County. Grand Haven is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Grand River, for which it is named. As of the 2010 census, Grand Haven had a population of 10,412. It is part of the...

  • Harbor Springs
    Harbor Springs, Michigan
    Harbor Springs is a city and resort community in Emmet County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,567 at the 2000 census.Harbor Springs is in a sheltered bay on the north shore of the Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. The Little Traverse Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse on...

  • Holland
    Holland, Michigan
    Holland is a city in the western region of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is situated near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan on Lake Macatawa, which is fed by the Macatawa River ....

  • Mackinaw City
    Mackinaw City, Michigan
    Mackinaw City is a village in Emmet and Cheboygan counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. At the 2000 census the population was 859. The name "Mackinaw City" is a bit of a misnomer as it is actually a village...

  • Manistee
    Manistee, Michigan
    Manistee is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,586. It is the county seat of Manistee County. The name "Manistee" is from an Ojibwe word first applied to the principal river of the county. The derivation is not certain, but it may be from...

  • Manistique
    Manistique, Michigan
    Manistique is a city in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 3,583. It is the county seat of Schoolcraft County and the only incorporated community in the county. The city lies on the north shore of Lake Michigan, at the southwest corner...

  • Menominee
    Menominee, Michigan
    Menominee is a city in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 9,131. It is the county seat of Menominee County. Menominee is the fourth-largest city in the Upper Peninsula, behind Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, and Escanaba...

  • Michiana
    Michiana, Michigan
    Michiana is a village in New Buffalo Township, Berrien County in the extreme southwest corner of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 200 at the 2000 census.-Geography:...

  • Ludington
    Ludington, Michigan
    Ludington is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 8,357. It is the county seat of Mason County.Ludington is a harbor town located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River...

  • Muskegon
    Muskegon, Michigan
    Muskegon is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 38,401. The city is the county seat of Muskegon County...

  • New Buffalo
    New Buffalo, Michigan
    New Buffalo is a city in Berrien County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,200 at the 2000 census. This city is within New Buffalo Township, but is politically autonomous.-Geography:...

  • Norton Shores
    Norton Shores, Michigan
    Norton Shores is a city in Muskegon County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 22,527 at the 2000 census.-Overview:Norton Shores is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Muskegon County...

  • Petoskey
    Petoskey, Michigan
    Petoskey is a city and coastal resort community in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,080. It is the county seat of Emmet County....

  • Saugatuck
    Saugatuck, Michigan
    Saugatuck is a city in Allegan County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 925 at the 2010 census. The city is within Saugatuck Township, but is administratively autonomous....

  • St. Joseph
  • Shoreham
    Shoreham, Michigan
    Shoreham is a village in Berrien County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 860 at the 2000 census. The village is located within St. Joseph Charter Township on the shore of Lake Michigan, just south of the City of St...

  • South Haven
    South Haven, Michigan
    South Haven is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. Most of the city is in Van Buren County, although a small portion extends into Allegan County. The population was 5,021 at the 2000 census....

  • Traverse City
    Traverse City, Michigan
    Traverse City is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the county seat of Grand Traverse County, although a small portion extends into Leelanau County. It is the largest city in the 21-county Northern Michigan region. The population was 14,674 at the 2010 census, with 143,372 in the Traverse...


  • Wisconsin
    • Algoma
      Algoma, Wisconsin
      Algoma is a city in Kewaunee County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 3,357 at the 2000 census. Algoma is part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:...

    • Cudahy
      Cudahy, Wisconsin
      Cudahy is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 18,429 at the 2000 census.-History:Originally known as the Buckhorn Settlement, it was renamed in the late 1800s when Patrick Cudahy purchased 700 acres of land in the Town of Lake, two miles from the Milwaukee city...

    • Fox Point
      Fox Point, Wisconsin
      Fox Point is a village in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 7,012 at the 2000 census.Fox Point is located along the North Shore area of the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It is named after a small point extending into Lake Michigan...

    • Green Bay
      Green Bay, Wisconsin
      Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

    • Kenosha
      Kenosha, Wisconsin
      Kenosha is a city and the county seat of Kenosha County in the State of Wisconsin in United States. With a population of 99,218 as of May 2011, Kenosha is the fourth-largest city in Wisconsin. Kenosha is also the fourth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, following Chicago,...

    • Kewaunee
      Kewaunee, Wisconsin
      Kewaunee is a city in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 2,806 at the 2000 census. Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Michigan, the city is the county seat of Kewaunee County....

    • Manitowoc
      Manitowoc, Wisconsin
      Manitowoc is a city in and the county seat of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. According to the 2000 census, Manitowoc had a population of 34,053, with over 50,000 residents in the surrounding communities...

    • Milwaukee
    • Mequon
    • Oconto
      Oconto, Wisconsin
      Oconto is a city in Oconto County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,708 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is located partially within the town of Oconto.-History:...

    • Port Washington
      Port Washington, Wisconsin
      Port Washington is the county seat of Ozaukee County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The city is about 25 miles north of Milwaukee and 110 miles north of Chicago. In the 2000 census Port Washington had a population of 10,467...

    • Racine
      Racine, Wisconsin
      Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 82,196...

    • Sheboygan
      Sheboygan, Wisconsin
      -Airport:Sheboygan is served by the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport, which is located several miles from the city.-Roads:Interstate 43 is the primary north-south transportation route into Sheboygan, and forms the west boundary of the city. U.S...

    • Shorewood
      Shorewood, Wisconsin
      Shorewood is a village in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 13,763 at the 2000 census. Howell Raines of The New York Times said in 1979 that "[t]his maplestudded town on Lake Michigan dotes on its reputation as Milwaukee's most liberal suburb."-Geography:Shorewood is...

    • South Milwaukee
      South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
      South Milwaukee is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 21,256 at the 2000 census.-Geography:South Milwaukee is located at ....

    • Sturgeon Bay
      Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
      Sturgeon Bay is a city in and the county seat of Door County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 9,437 at the 2000 census. It is located at the natural end of Sturgeon Bay, although the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal was built across the remainder of the Door Peninsula.-Geography:Sturgeon Bay is...

    • Two Rivers
      Two Rivers, Wisconsin
      Two Rivers is a city in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 11,712 at the 2010 census. It is the birthplace of the ice cream sundae...

    • Whitefish Bay
      Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
      Whitefish Bay is a village in Milwaukee County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 13,508 as of the 2005 census.-Geography:Whitefish Bay is located at ....


    Connection to ocean and open water



    The Saint Lawrence Seaway
    Saint Lawrence Seaway
    The Saint Lawrence Seaway , , is the common name for a system of locks, canals and channels that permits ocean-going vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the North American Great Lakes, as far as Lake Superior. Legally it extends from Montreal to Lake Erie, including the Welland Canal...

     and Great Lakes Waterway
    Great Lakes Waterway
    The Great Lakes Waterway is a system of channels and canals that makes all of the Great Lakes accessible to oceangoing vessels. Its principal civil engineering components are the Welland Canal, bypassing Niagara Falls between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and the Soo Locks, bypassing the rapids of...

     opened the Great Lakes to ocean-going vessels. Wider ocean-going container ships do not fit through the locks on these routes and has thus limited shipping on the lakes. Despite their vast size, large sections of the Great Lakes freeze in winter, interrupting most shipping. Some icebreakers ply the lakes.

    The Great Lakes are also connected by canal to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Illinois River
    Illinois River
    The Illinois River is a principal tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately long, in the State of Illinois. The river drains a large section of central Illinois, with a drainage basin of . This river was important among Native Americans and early French traders as the principal water route...

     (from Chicago
    Chicago
    Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

    ) and the Mississippi River
    Mississippi River
    The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

    . An alternate track is via the Illinois River (from Chicago), to the Mississippi, up the Ohio, and then through the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (combination of a series of rivers and lakes and canals), to Mobile Bay and the Gulf. Commercial tug-and-barge traffic on these waterways is heavy.

    Pleasure boats can also enter or exit the Great Lakes by way of the Erie Canal and Hudson River in New York. The Erie Canal connects to the Great Lakes at the east end of Lake Erie (at Buffalo, NY) and at the south side of Lake Ontario (at Oswego, NY).

    Beaches



    Lake Michigan has many beaches. The region is often referred to as the "Third Coast" of the United States, after those of the Atlantic Ocean
    Atlantic Ocean
    The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

     and the Pacific Ocean
    Pacific Ocean
    The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

    . The sand is soft and off-white, known as "singing sand
    Singing sand
    Singing sand, whistling sand or barking sand is sand that produces sound. The sound emission may be caused by wind passing over dunes or by walking on the sand.Certain conditions have to come together to create singing sand:...

    s" because of the squeaking noise (caused by high quartz
    Quartz
    Quartz is the second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz,...

     content) made when one walks across it. There are often high sand dunes covered in green beach grass
    Ammophila breviligulata
    Ammophila breviligulata is a species of grass that is native to eastern North America, where it grows on sand dunes along the Atlantic Ocean and Great Lakes coasts...

     and sand cherries, and the water is usually clear and cool (between 55 and 80 °F [13 and 27 °C]), even in late summer. However, because prevailing westerly winds tend to move the surface water toward the east, there is a flow of warmer water to the Michigan shore in the summer. The sand dunes located on the Michigan shore are the largest freshwater dune system in the world. In fact, in multiple locations along the shoreline, the dunes rise several hundred feet above the Lake surface. Large dune formations can be seen in many state parks, national forests and national parks along the Indiana and Michigan shoreline. Some of the most expansive and unique dune formations can be found at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Warren Dunes State Park, PJ Hoffmaster State Park, Silver Lake State Park, Ludington State Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Small dune formations can be found on the western shore of Lake Michigan in Illinois Beach State Park and moderate sized dune formations can be found in Kohler Andre State Park and Point Beach State Forest in Wisconsin. A large Dune formation can be found in Whitefish Dunes State Park in Wisconsin in the Door Peninsula. Lake Michigan beaches in Northern Michigan
    Northern Michigan
    Northern Michigan, also known as Northern Lower Michigan , is a region of the U.S. state of Michigan...

     are the only place in the world, aside from a few inland lakes in that region, where one can find Petoskey stone
    Petoskey stone
    A Petoskey stone is a rock and a fossil, often pebble-shaped, that is composed of a fossilized coral, Hexagonaria percarinata. The stones were formed as a result of glaciation, in which sheets of ice plucked stones from the bedrock, grinding off their rough edges and depositing them in Michigan's...

    s, the state stone.

    The beaches of the western coast and the northernmost part of the east coast are rocky, while the southern and eastern beaches are sandy and dune
    Dune
    In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind...

    -covered. This is partly because of the prevailing winds from the west which also cause thick layers of ice to build on the eastern shore in winter.

    The Chicago city waterfront is composed of parks, beaches, harbors and marinas, and residential developments. Where there are no beaches or marinas, then stone or concrete revetments protect the shoreline from erosion. The Chicago lakefront is quite walkable as one can stroll past parks, beaches, and marinas for about 24 miles from the city southern limits with Lake Michigan to its northern city limits point.

    The Chicago skyline
    Skyline
    A skyline is the overall or partial view of a city's tall buildings and structures consisting of many skyscrapers in front of the sky in the background. It can also be described as the artificial horizon that a city's overall structure creates. Skylines serve as a kind of fingerprint of a city, as...

     can be seen from the northwest Indiana shoreline and, on a clear day, extreme southwestern Michigan. When standing at the waterfront in Illinois, Wisconsin, and the lower peninsula of Michigan, it is impossible for one to see directly across the lake to another state. This gives the lake a view similar to that of an ocean. Viewing a state across the huge lake is possible from several Chicago skyscrapers. It is possible from some of the taller buildings in Chicago to make out points in Indiana and southwest Michigan such as the NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company) cooling tower of its power plant in Michigan City, Indiana
    Michigan City, Indiana
    Michigan City's origins date to 1830, when the land for the city was first purchased by Isaac C. Elston. Elston Middle School, formerly Elston High School, located at 317 Detroit St., is named after the founder....

    .

    The Great Lakes Circle Tour
    Great Lakes Circle Tour
    The Great Lakes Circle Tour is a designated scenic road system connecting all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. It consists of routes for circumnavigating the lakes, either individually or collectively.-Lake Superior Circle Tour:...

     is a designated scenic road system connecting all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.

    Some environmental problems can still plague the lake as steel mill
    Steel mill
    A steel mill or steelworks is an industrial plant for the manufacture of steel.Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. It is produced in a two-stage process. First, iron ore is reduced or smelted with coke and limestone in a blast furnace, producing molten iron which is either cast into pig iron or...

    s operate near the Indiana shoreline. The Chicago Tribune
    Chicago Tribune
    The Chicago Tribune is a major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, and the flagship publication of the Tribune Company. Formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper" , it remains the most read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region and is...

    reported that BP
    BP
    BP p.l.c. is a global oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by revenues and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors"...

     is a major polluter, dumping thousands of pounds of raw sludge into the lake every day from its Whiting, Indiana
    Whiting, Indiana
    Whiting is a city located in the Chicago Metropolitan Area in Lake County, Indiana, which was founded in 1889. The city is located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. It is roughly 16 miles from the Chicago Loop and just short of two miles from Chicago's South Side. Whiting is home to Whiting...

     oil refinery.

    Car ferries


    People can cross Lake Michigan by the SS Badger, a ferry
    Ferry
    A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

     that runs from Manitowoc, Wisconsin
    Manitowoc, Wisconsin
    Manitowoc is a city in and the county seat of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, United States. The city is located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Manitowoc River. According to the 2000 census, Manitowoc had a population of 34,053, with over 50,000 residents in the surrounding communities...

    , to Ludington, Michigan
    Ludington, Michigan
    Ludington is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 8,357. It is the county seat of Mason County.Ludington is a harbor town located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River...

    . The Lake Express
    Lake Express
    Lake Express is a high-speed auto and passenger ferry that is in service on a route across Lake Michigan. Lake Express links the cities of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Muskegon, Michigan from late spring to the fall of each year.- Background :...

    , established in 2004, carries motorists across the lake between Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Muskegon, Michigan
    Muskegon, Michigan
    Muskegon is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 38,401. The city is the county seat of Muskegon County...

    .

    Islands


    • The Beaver Island
      Beaver Island (Lake Michigan)
      Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan and part of the Beaver Island archipelago. Once home to a unique American monarchy, the island is now a popular tourist and vacation destination....

       archipelago in Charlevoix County, Michigan
      Charlevoix County, Michigan
      -Airports:*Beaver Island is served by two airlines:**Welke Airport**Beaver Island Airport-Ferry service:*Beaver Island Boat Company maintains a regular auto ferry from Charlevoix:*The Ironton Ferry at Ironton, Michigan crosses the south arm of Lake Charlevoix...

      , includes Beaver Island, Garden Island
      Garden Island (Michigan)
      Garden Island is an uninhabited 4,990 acre island located in the Beaver Island archipelago in northern Lake Michigan. It is almost wholly owned by the U.S. state of Michigan and is overseen by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as part of the Beaver Island State Wildlife Research Area....

      , Grape Island, Gull Island
      Gull Island (Charlevoix County, Michigan)
      Gull Island, located in St. James Township, Charlevoix County, Michigan, is the largest of approximately one dozen islands bearing this name in Michigan. 230 acres in size, it is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge...

      , Hat Island
      Hat Island (Lake Michigan)
      Hat Island is a small island on the eastern edge of the Beaver Island archipelago in Lake Michigan. It is about 10 acres in size and located in eastern St. James Township, Charlevoix County, Michigan...

      , High Island
      High Island (Michigan)
      High Island is an island in Lake Michigan and is part of the Beaver Island archipelago. It is in size. The island is owned by the U.S. state of Michigan and is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as part of the Beaver Islands State Wildlife Management Area.High Island got its...

      , Hog Island
      Hog Island (Michigan)
      Hog Island, an uninhabited 2,075-acre island in Lake Michigan, is the fourth largest island in the Beaver Island archipelago. It is owned by the U.S...

      , Horseshoe Island, Little Island, Pismire Island
      Pismire Island
      Pismire Island is a small island in Lake Michigan of approximately in size. It is part of the Beaver Island archipelago, the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and the Michigan Islands Wilderness Area. It is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a satellite of the Seney...

      , Shoe Island
      Shoe Island (Lake Michigan)
      Shoe Island is a small island or islet in the Beaver Island archipelago in Lake Michigan. It is about in size and located in eastern St. James Township, Charlevoix County, Michigan...

      , Squaw Island, Trout Island, and Whiskey Island.
    • The Fox Islands
      Fox Islands (Michigan)
      The Fox Islands consist of the North Fox and South Fox islands, in Lake Michigan. The uninhabited islands are approximately 17 miles northwest of Cathead Point near the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan and about southwest of Beaver Island. The three islands form part of an archipelago...

       in Leelanau County, Michigan
      Leelanau County, Michigan
      -History:The county's name is said to be a Native American word meaning "delight of life", but it is a neologism made up by Indian agent and ethnographer Henry Schoolcraft, who sometimes gave the name "Leelinau" to Native American women in his tales. He created many faux Indian place names in...

      , consist of North Fox Island and South Fox Island.
    • The Manitou Islands, North Manitou Island
      North Manitou Island
      North Manitou Island is located in Lake Michigan, approximately west-northwest of Leland, Michigan. It is nearly eight miles long and over four miles wide, with of shoreline. It has a land area of 57.876 km² and has no population...

       and South Manitou Island
      South Manitou Island
      South Manitou Island is located in Lake Michigan, approximately west of Leland, Michigan. It is part of Leelanau County and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The uninhabited island is in land area and can be accessed by a ferry service from Leland...

      , are in Leelanau County, Michigan.
    • Islands within Grand Traverse Bay
      Grand Traverse Bay
      Grand Traverse Bay is a bay of Lake Michigan formed by part of Northern Michigan. The bay is long, 10 miles wide, and up to deep in spots. It is divided into two arms by the Old Mission Peninsula...

       include Bassett Island, Bellow Island, and Marion Island.
    • Islands south of the Garden Peninsula
      Garden Peninsula
      The Garden Peninsula is a peninsula of in length that extends southwestward into Lake Michigan from the mainland of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The peninsula is bordered by Lake Michigan on the east, and by Big Bay de Noc on the west. The base of the peninsula is served by U.S. Highway 2, and...

       in Delta County, Michigan
      Delta County, Michigan
      -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 38,520 people, 15,836 households, and 10,689 families residing in the county. The population density was 33 people per square mile . There were 19,223 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile...

       include Gravelly Island, Gull Island
      Gull Island (Michigan)
      Gull Island is the name of a dozen small islands in the U.S. state of Michigan.On Lake Huron:*In Alpena County at , just outside of Thunder Bay and within the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.*In Arenac County at , at the mouth of the Saginaw Bay...

      , Little Gull Island
      Little Gull Island
      Little Gull Island is a small island in Long Island Sound, located approximately northeast of Great Gull Island. Both islands are located in Suffolk County, New York, and lie roughly midway between Plum Island and Fishers Island...

      , Little Summer Island, Poverty Island
      Poverty Island
      Poverty Island is a small island in the U.S. state of Michigan. The island is within Delta County in Lake Michigan and is home to an abandoned lighthouse which is in disrepair. Poverty Island is currently owned by the federal government....

      , Rocky Island, St. Martin Island
      St. Martin Island
      St. Martin Island is located off the Garden Peninsula in Delta County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the southernmost island in Michigan that is part of a line of islands at the mouth of the bay of Green Bay and is part of the Niagara Escarpment....

      , and Summer Island
      Summer Island
      Summer Island is an island in Lake Michigan. It is located 2.5 miles miles off the southern tip of the Garden Peninsula in the state of Michigan...

      .
    • Islands in Big Bay de Noc
      Big Bay de Noc
      Big Bay de Noc is a bay in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The bay, which opens into Lake Michigan's Green Bay, is enclosed by Delta County...

       in Delta County, Michigan
      Delta County, Michigan
      -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 38,520 people, 15,836 households, and 10,689 families residing in the county. The population density was 33 people per square mile . There were 19,223 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile...

       include Round Island
      Round Island (Michigan)
      Round Island is an uninhabited island in Mackinac County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The Native Americans called the island "Nissawinagong."...

      , Saint Vital Island, and Snake Island.
    • Islands in Little Bay de Noc
      Little Bay de Noc
      Little Bay de Noc is a bay in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The bay opens into Lake Michigan's Green Bay.The bay, consisting of approximately 30,000 acres , is enclosed by Delta County...

       in Delta County, Michigan
      Delta County, Michigan
      -Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 38,520 people, 15,836 households, and 10,689 families residing in the county. The population density was 33 people per square mile . There were 19,223 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile...

       include Butlers Island and Sand Island.
    • Wilderness State Park
      Wilderness State Park
      Wilderness State Park is an state park in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Emmet County in Northern Michigan. The nearest towns are Carp Lake, Michigan and Mackinaw City, Michigan. The state park is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources...

       in Emmet County, Michigan
      Emmet County, Michigan
      Emmet County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 31,437. The county seat is Petoskey.The county was formed April 1, 1840, from Mackinac County. It was first named Tonedagana County and renamed Emmet County on March 8, 1843...

       contains Temperance Island and Waugoshance Island.
    • Epoufette Island, Gravel Island, Little Hog Island, and Naubinway Island are located in Mackinac County, Michigan
      Mackinac County, Michigan
      -Local Airports:*Mackinac County Airport *Mackinac Island Airport -Airline service:The nearest airports with scheduled passenger service are:*Chippewa County International Airport in Sault Ste...

      , in the area of Epoufette, Michigan
      Hendricks Township, Michigan
      Hendricks Township is a civil township of Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 183 at the 2000 census.- Communities :...

       and Naubinway, Michigan
      Garfield Township, Mackinac County, Michigan
      Garfield Township is a civil township of Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,251 at the 2000 census.- Communities :...

      .
    • Green Island and St. Helena Island are in the vicinity of the Mackinac Bridge
      Mackinac Bridge
      The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the non-contiguous Upper and Lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Opened in 1957, the bridge is the third longest in total suspension in the world and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages...

      , in Mackinac County, Michigan
      Mackinac County, Michigan
      -Local Airports:*Mackinac County Airport *Mackinac Island Airport -Airline service:The nearest airports with scheduled passenger service are:*Chippewa County International Airport in Sault Ste...

      .
    • Islands surrounding the Door Peninsula
      Door Peninsula
      The Door Peninsula is a peninsula in eastern Wisconsin, separating the southern part of the Green Bay from Lake Michigan. The peninsula begins in northern Brown and Kewaunee counties and proceeds northeast to include all of Door County. It is the western portion of the Niagara Escarpment. Well...

       in Wisconsin
      Wisconsin
      Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

       include Chambers Island
      Chambers Island
      Chambers Island, named in honor of Col. Talbot Chambers, is a 2,834 acre island in Green Bay, about off the coast of the Door Peninsula, near Gibraltar, Wisconsin. It is part of Door County....

      , Detroit Island, Hog Island
      Hog Island (Wisconsin)
      Hog Island is a bird sanctuary located off the eastern shore of Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin. There are no residents on the island, which has a land area of . It is located in the Town of Washington. Since 1913, this sanctuary has served as a habitat for many different types of...

      , Pilot Island, Plum Island
      Plum Island (Wisconsin)
      Plum Island is an island at the western shore of Lake Michigan in the southern part of the town of Washington in Door County, Wisconsin, USA. The uninhabited island has a land area of 1.179 km² or 117.87 ha . The island is a bird sanctuary under control of the U.S. Coast Guard and will eventually...

      , Rock Island
      Rock Island (Wisconsin)
      Rock Island is a wooded island off the tip of Wisconsin's Door Peninsula at the mouth of Green Bay. The uninhabited island is almost entirely owned by the Wisconsin DNR, which maintains Rock Island State Park. It is the northernmost part of the Town of Washington.-History:Rock Island was...

      , and Washington Island
      Washington Island (Wisconsin)
      Washington Island is located about 7 miles northeast of the tip of Door Peninsula in Door County, Wisconsin. The island has a year-round population of 660 people . It has a land area of 60.89 km² and comprises over 92 percent of the land area of the town of Washington, as well as all of its...

      . The northern half of the peninsula is technically an island itself, due to the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal
      Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal
      The Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal is a shipping canal connecting Sturgeon Bay on Green Bay with Lake Michigan, across the Door Peninsula, at the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin....

      .
    • Northerly Island
      Northerly Island
      Northerly Island is a man-made peninsula along Chicago's lakefront. The site of the Adler Planetarium, Northerly Island connects to the mainland through a narrow isthmus along Solidarity Drive dominated by Neoclassical sculptures of Kościuszko, Havliček and Copernicus...

       is a 91 acres (36.8 ha) man-made island in Chicago. It is the home of the Adler Planetarium
      Adler Planetarium
      The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Illinois was the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere and is the oldest in existence today. Adler was founded and built in 1930 by the philanthropist Max Adler, with the assistance of the first director of the planetarium, Philip Fox...

      , the former site of Meigs Field
      Meigs Field
      Merrill C. Meigs Field Airport , was a single strip airport that operated from December 1948 until March 2003. It was built on Northerly Island, the man-made peninsula that was also the site of the 1933–1934 Century of Progress in Chicago....

      , and the current site of the temporary concert venue Charter One Pavilion
      Charter One Pavilion
      Charter One Pavilion is an outdoor concert hall in Chicago. It is located on Northerly Island on the grounds of the former Meigs Field general aviation airport. Construction started in 2005. The venue seats 7,500 people and hosts many different musical artists and shows...

       each summer.
    • Other islands include Fisherman Island
      Fisherman Island
      Fisherman Island is the southernmost island on the Delmarva Peninsula chain of barrier islands. Located at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, the island is subject to great changes in its landscape from waves and runoff...

       in Charlevoix County, Michigan
      Charlevoix County, Michigan
      -Airports:*Beaver Island is served by two airlines:**Welke Airport**Beaver Island Airport-Ferry service:*Beaver Island Boat Company maintains a regular auto ferry from Charlevoix:*The Ironton Ferry at Ironton, Michigan crosses the south arm of Lake Charlevoix...

       and Ile aux Galets
      Ile Aux Galets
      Ile aux Galets or Gallets, and also known as Skillagallee or Skillagalee Island, is located in northeast Lake Michigan approximately 7.0 miles northwest of Cross Village, Michigan...

       in Emmet County, Michigan
      Emmet County, Michigan
      Emmet County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 31,437. The county seat is Petoskey.The county was formed April 1, 1840, from Mackinac County. It was first named Tonedagana County and renamed Emmet County on March 8, 1843...

      .

    Parks


    The National Park Service
    National Park Service
    The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

     maintains the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National Lakeshore located along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Leelanau County and Benzie County....

     and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
    Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore located in northwest Indiana and managed by the National Park Service. It was authorized by Congress in 1966. The national lakeshore runs for nearly along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, from Gary, Indiana, on the west to Michigan...

    . Parts of the shoreline are within the Hiawatha National Forest
    Hiawatha National Forest
    Hiawatha National Forest is a National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of the state of Michigan in the United States. Commercial logging is conducted in some areas. The United States Forest Service administers this National Forest; it is physically divided into two subunits, commonly called the...

     and the Manistee National Forest. The Manistee National Forest section of the shoreline includes the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness
    Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness
    The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness is a listed wilderness area within the Manistee National Forest. It is located north of Ludington, Michigan, and is best known for its 4 miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline.-Geology:...

    . The Lake Michigan division of the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge
    Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge
    The Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge is a designation for eight Michigan islands in the North American Great Lakes. Owned by the United States federal government, they were set aside for ecosystem protection purposes by President Franklin D. Roosevelt 1943.Charity, Little Charity,...

     is also within the lake.

    There are numerous state and local parks located on the shores of the lake or on islands within the lake. A partial list follows.


    • Chicago Park District Beaches
    • Duck Lake State Park
      Duck Lake State Park
      Duck Lake State Park is a , day-use state park located along Lake Michigan south of Whitehall, Michigan in Muskegon County. The land was purchased by the Nature Conservancy from two Boy Scout organizations and acquired by the state in 1974. It officially opened in 1988.The park, which runs along...

    • Fayette Historic State Park
      Fayette Historic State Park
      Fayette Historic State Park is a state park and historic townsite near Fayette in the U.S. state of Michigan. Located on the Big Bay de Noc of Lake Michigan on the southern side of the Upper Peninsula, it was the site of an industrial community that manufactured charcoal pig iron between 1867 and...

    • Fisherman's Island State Park
      Fisherman's Island State Park
      Fisherman's Island State Park is a state park just south of Charlevoix, Michigan, with five miles of the Lake Michigan shoreline. Steadily decreasing water levels have meant that the tiny island from which the park took its name has connected to the shore by a narrow strip of sand thus becoming a...

    • Grand Haven State Park
      Grand Haven State Park
      Grand Haven State Park is a state park in Michigan. The park is located in Grand Haven, Michigan on the coast of Lake Michigan on the south side of the mouth of the Grand River and harbor....

    • Grand Mere State Park
      Grand Mere State Park
      Grand Mere State Park is a state park in southwestern Michigan near Stevensville. It is located adjacent to Interstate 94. Protected from Lake Michigan by the dunes to the west, the park has many natural features not found throughout the rest of the state...

    • Harrington Beach State Park
      Harrington Beach State Park
      Harrington Beach State Park is a Wisconsin state park on the shore of Lake Michigan. In addition to a mile-long beach, the park contains a white cedar swamp surrounding a lake which used to be a stone quarry.-External links:* official site...

    • Holland State Park
      Holland State Park
      Holland State Park is located in the U.S. state of Michigan, in Park Township, Ottawa County, four miles west of the city of Holland. The park covers about on the northern side of the channel connecting Lake Macatawa with Lake Michigan, and consists of separate Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan...

    • Hoffmaster State Park
      Hoffmaster State Park
      P.J. Hoffmaster State Park is a state park along Lake Michigan located at the southwest corner of Norton Shores, Michigan in Muskegon County and the northwest corner of Spring Lake Township in Ottawa County. It is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The park includes of land...

    • Illinois Beach State Park
      Illinois Beach State Park
      Illinois Beach State Park is part of the Illinois state park system and is located along Lake Michigan in northeast Illinois in unincorporated Zion, Illinois and the Village of Winthrop Harbor. The park is broken into two units that encompass an area of and contains over six miles of Lake Michigan...

    • Indian Lake State Park
    • Indiana Dunes State Park
      Indiana Dunes State Park
      Indiana DunesDesignationState Park; National Natural LandmarkLocationPorter County, Indiana, USAAddress1600 N 25 EChesterton, IN 46304Nearest CityPorter, IndianaCoordinatesAreaDate of Establishment1925...

    • Ludington State Park
      Ludington State Park
      Ludington State Park is a state park located just north of Ludington, Michigan between the shores of Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. The park encompasses nearly and contains several ecosystems, including: forests, sand dunes, a dam, a Great Lake, and a river.-Big Sable Point Lighthouse:Ludington...

    • Leelanau State Park
      Leelanau State Park
      Leelanau State Park is a state park located on the Leelanau Peninsula in Leelanau County, Michigan. The park encompasses the entire tip of the peninsula and features both a day-use area and campground....

    • Mears State Park
      Mears State Park
      Mears State Park is a state park in Pentwater, Oceana County, Michigan. It is a sandy park directly on Lake Michigan, bordering a channel leading into Pentwater Lake. The park only covers but has swimming, camping, and picnicking areas and a one-mile hiking trail...

    • Muskegon State Park
      Muskegon State Park
      Muskegon State Park is a state park along Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake near North Muskegon, Michigan in Muskegon County, Michigan. The park, located four miles west of North Muskegon, has two miles of sand beach on Lake Michigan and one mile on Muskegon Lake.-Facilities and attractions:The...

    • Newport State Park
      Newport State Park
      Newport State Park is a Wisconsin state park at the tip of Door Peninsula near Ellison Bay, Wisconsin. Protecting of shoreline on Lake Michigan, Newport is Wisconsin's only wilderness-designated state park.-External links:*...

    • Orchard Beach State Park
      Orchard Beach State Park
      Orchard Beach State Park is a state park in Manistee Township, just north of Manistee, Michigan. Situated on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, the park offers a beach, campground and hiking trails.-History:...

    • Peninsula State Park
      Peninsula State Park
      Peninsula State Park is a Wisconsin state park with eight miles of Green Bay shoreline in Door County. Peninsula is the third largest state park in Wisconsin, and is visited by an estimated 1 million visitors annually.-Points of interest:...

    • Saugatuck Dunes State Park
      Saugatuck Dunes State Park
      Saugatuck Dunes State Park is a 1,120 acre Michigan state park. It is located on Lake Michigan between Saugatuck and Holland in Allegan County, Michigan....

    • Silver Lake State Park
      Silver Lake State Park (Michigan)
      Silver Lake State Park is a state park in Michigan, located on Lake Michigan near Mears.It is composed of mature forest land and over of sand dunes. The park is wide and long and is divided into three segments: The northern area is an all-terrain vehicle park, and is the only dunes area east of...

    • Traverse City State Park
      Traverse City State Park
      Traverse City State Park is a state park in Traverse City, Michigan.The park is located on the densely populated shoreline of Grand Traverse Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan, and is used mainly as a campground. US-31 runs between the park and the beach area, there is an overpass where campers can get...

    • Terry Andrae State Park
      Kohler-Andrae State Park
      Kohler-Andrae State Park comprises two adjacent Wisconsin state parks located in the town of Wilson, a few miles south of the city of Sheboygan. They are managed as one unit. Terry Andrae State Park, established in 1927, and John Michael Kohler State Park, established in 1966, total...

    • Van Buren State Park
      Van Buren State Park (Michigan)
      Van Buren State Park is a state park on Lake Michigan south of South Haven, Michigan, United States. The park, which is maintained and operated by the Department of Natural Resources, is located in the southwest corner of South Haven Township and the northwest corner of Covert Township, just north...

    • Warren Dunes State Park
      Warren Dunes State Park
      Warren Dunes State Park is a Michigan state park, located along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan in Berrien County. The park's large sand dunes and lakeshore beaches make it one of the most popular of Michigan’s state parks with an average of about one million visitors annually.Large sand dunes...


    • Wells State Park
    • Wilderness State Park
      Wilderness State Park
      Wilderness State Park is an state park in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Emmet County in Northern Michigan. The nearest towns are Carp Lake, Michigan and Mackinaw City, Michigan. The state park is operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources...


    Lighthouses

    • Illinois lighthouses
    • Indiana lighthouses
    • Michigan lighthouses
    • Wisconsin lighthouses

    Hydrology


    The Milwaukee Reef, running under Lake Michigan from a point between Milwaukee and Racine
    Racine
    -Geography:Racine is the name of several communities in the United States of America:*Racine, Wisconsin, the largest city named Racine in the United States*Racine, Minnesota*Racine, Missouri*Racine, Ohio*Racine, West Virginia*Racine County, Wisconsin...

     to a point between Grand Haven and Muskegon, divides the lake into northern and southern basins. Each basin has a clockwise flow of water, deriving from rivers, winds, and the Coriolis effect
    Coriolis effect
    In physics, the Coriolis effect is a deflection of moving objects when they are viewed in a rotating reference frame. In a reference frame with clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the left of the motion of the object; in one with counter-clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the right...

    . Prevailing westerly winds tend to move the surface water toward the east, producing a moderating effect on the climate of western Michigan. There is a mean difference in summer temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 5 degrees Celsius) between the Wisconsin and Michigan shores.

    Hydrologically Michigan and Huron are the same body of water (sometimes called Lake Michigan-Huron
    Lake Michigan-Huron
    Lake Michigan-Huron is geologically the largest of the North American Great Lakes. Traditionally considered to be two separate lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, it is hydrologically a single body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac....

    ), but are geographically distinct. Counted together, it is the largest body of fresh water in the world by surface area. The Mackinac Bridge
    Mackinac Bridge
    The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the non-contiguous Upper and Lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Opened in 1957, the bridge is the third longest in total suspension in the world and the longest suspension bridge between anchorages...

     is generally considered the dividing line between them. Both lakes are part of the Great Lakes Waterway
    Great Lakes Waterway
    The Great Lakes Waterway is a system of channels and canals that makes all of the Great Lakes accessible to oceangoing vessels. Its principal civil engineering components are the Welland Canal, bypassing Niagara Falls between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and the Soo Locks, bypassing the rapids of...

    . In earlier maps of the region, the name Lake Illinois has been found in place of "Michigan".

    Historic High Water: The lake fluctuates from month to month with the highest lake levels in October and November. The normal highwater mark is 2 foot (0.6096 m) above datum (577.5 ft or 176.0 m). In the summer of 1986, Lakes Michigan and Huron reached their highest level at 5.92 feet (1.8 m) above datum. The high water records began in February 1986 and lasted through the year, ending with January 1987. Water levels ranged from 3.67 feet (1.1 m) to 5.92 feet (1.8 m) above Chart Datum. On February 21, the waters neared the all-time maximum.

    Historic Low Water: Lake levels tend to be the lowest in winter. The normal lowwater mark is 1 foot (0.3048 m) below datum (577.5 ft or 176.0 m). In the winter of 1964, Lakes Michigan and Huron reached their lowest level at 1.38 foot (0.420624 m) below datum. As with the highwater records, monthly low water records were set each month from February 1964 through January 1965. During this twelve month period water levels ranged from 1.38 foot (0.420624 m) to 0.71 foot (0.216408 m) below Chart Datum.

    Ecology


    Lake Michigan is home to a variety of species of fish and other organisms. It was originally home to lake trout
    Lake trout
    Lake trout is a freshwater char living mainly in lakes in northern North America. Other names for it include mackinaw, lake char , touladi, togue, and grey trout. In Lake Superior, they can also be variously known as siscowet, paperbellies and leans...

    , yellow perch
    Yellow perch
    The yellow perch is a species of perch found in the United States and Canada, where it is often referred to by the shortform perch. Yellow perch look similar to the European perch, but are paler and more yellowish, with less red in the fins. They have six to eight dark, vertical bars on their sides...

    , panfish
    Panfish
    A panfish, also spelled pan-fish or pan fish, is an edible game fish that usually doesn't outgrow the size of a frying pan. The term is also commonly used by anglers to refer to any small catch that will fit in a pan, but is large enough to be legal. However its definition and usage varies with...

    , largemouth bass
    Largemouth bass
    The largemouth bass is a species of black bass in the sunfish family native to North America . It is also known as widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth...

    , smallmouth bass
    Smallmouth bass
    The smallmouth bass is a species of freshwater fish in the sunfish family of the order Perciformes. It is the type species of its genus...

    , bowfin
    Bowfin
    The Bowfin, Amia calva, is the last surviving member of the order Amiiformes , and of the family Amiidae...

    , as well as some species of catfish
    Catfish
    Catfishes are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the heaviest and longest, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia and the second longest, the wels catfish of Eurasia, to detritivores...

    . In recent years overfishing has caused a decline in lake trout, ultimately causing an increase in the alewife
    Alewife
    The alewife is a species of herring. There are anadromous and landlocked forms. The landlocked form is also called a sawbelly or mooneye...

     population. As a result, coho
    Coho salmon
    The Coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family. Coho salmon are also known as silver salmon or "silvers". It is the state animal of Chiba, Japan.-Description:...

     and chinook salmon
    Chinook salmon
    The Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, is the largest species in the pacific salmon family. Other commonly used names for the species include King salmon, Quinnat salmon, Spring salmon and Tyee salmon...

     were introduced as a predator of alewives to decrease the alewife population. This program was so successful that the salmon population exploded, and the states surrounding Lake Michigan promoted Salmon Snagging. This practice has since been made illegal in all of the great lakes states with the exception of a limited season in Illinois. Lake Michigan is now being stocked with several species of fish. However, several invader species introduced such as lamprey
    Lamprey
    Lampreys are a family of jawless fish, whose adults are characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. Translated from an admixture of Latin and Greek, lamprey means stone lickers...

    s, round goby
    Round goby
    The round goby, Neogobius melanostomus, is an euryhaline bottom-dwelling goby of the family Gobiidae, native to central Eurasia including the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.-Characteristics:...

    , and zebra mussel
    Zebra mussel
    The zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, is a small freshwater mussel. This species was originally native to the lakes of southeast Russia being first described in 1769 by a German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas in the Ural, Volga and Dnieper rivers. They are still found nearby, as Pontic and Caspian...

    s threaten the vitality of fish populations.

    See also




    Geography

    • Chicago beaches
    • Chicago River
      Chicago River
      The Chicago River is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of that runs through the city of the same name, including its center . Though not especially long, the river is notable for being the reason why Chicago became an important location, as the link between the Great Lakes and...

    • Grand Traverse Bay
      Grand Traverse Bay
      Grand Traverse Bay is a bay of Lake Michigan formed by part of Northern Michigan. The bay is long, 10 miles wide, and up to deep in spots. It is divided into two arms by the Old Mission Peninsula...

    • Door Peninsula
      Door Peninsula
      The Door Peninsula is a peninsula in eastern Wisconsin, separating the southern part of the Green Bay from Lake Michigan. The peninsula begins in northern Brown and Kewaunee counties and proceeds northeast to include all of Door County. It is the western portion of the Niagara Escarpment. Well...

    • Green Bay
    • Lake Michigan Shore AVA
    • Leelanau Peninsula
      Leelanau Peninsula
      The Leelanau Peninsula is a peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan that extends about from the Lower Peninsula of Michigan into Lake Michigan. Leelanau County encompasses the entire peninsula. It is often referred to as the "little finger" of the mitten-shaped lower peninsula.Sleeping Bear Dunes...

    • Little Bay de Noc
      Little Bay de Noc
      Little Bay de Noc is a bay in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The bay opens into Lake Michigan's Green Bay.The bay, consisting of approximately 30,000 acres , is enclosed by Delta County...

    • Little Traverse Bay
      Little Traverse Bay
      Little Traverse Bay is a small bay, 170 feet deep, off Lake Michigan in the northern area of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Harbor Springs and Petoskey are on this bay.The Little Traverse Light marks its entrance....

    • Jardine Water Purification Plant
      Jardine Water Purification Plant
      The Jardine Water Purification Plant, formerly the Central District Filtration Plant, is the largest capacity water filtration plant in the world, located at 1000 E. Ohio Street north of Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois...


    Great Lakes in general

    • Great Lakes
      Great Lakes
      The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

    • Great Lakes Areas of Concern
      Great Lakes Areas of Concern
      Great Lakes Areas of Concern are designated geographic areas within the Great Lakes Basin that show severe environmental degradation. There are a total of 43 areas of concern within the Great Lakes, 26 being in the U.S., 17 in Canada, with five shared by the two countries.The Great Lakes, the...

    • Great Lakes census statistical areas
      Great Lakes census statistical areas
      Along the Great Lakes, there are 27 United States census statistical areas - 10 Combined Statistical Areas, 7 Metropolitan Statistical Areas , and 3 Micropolitan Statistical Areas , as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Table:The following sortable table lists the 27...

    • Great Lakes Commission
      Great Lakes Commission
      The Great Lakes Commission is a United States interstate agency established in 1955 through the Great Lakes Compact, in order to "promote the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes Basin," which includes the Saint Lawrence...

    • Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal
      Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal
      The Great Recycling and Northern Development Canal of North America or GCNA is a water management proposal designed by Newfoundland engineer Thomas Kierans to alleviate North American freshwater shortage problems...

    • Great Storm of 1913
    • International Boundary Waters Treaty
      International Boundary Waters Treaty
      The Boundary Waters Treaty is the 1909 treaty between the United States and Canada providing mechanisms for resolving any dispute over any waters bordering the two countries...

    • List of cities along the Great Lakes
    • Seiche
    • Sixty Years' War
      Sixty Years' War
      The Sixty Years' War was a military struggle for control of the Great Lakes region in North America, encompassing a number of wars over several generations. The term Sixty Years' War is not widely known, and is used primarily by academic historians who specialize in various aspects of the conflict...

       for control of the Great Lakes
    • Third Coast
    • Snowbelt
      Snowbelt
      Snowbelt is a term describing of a number of regions near the Great Lakes in North America where heavy snowfall in the form of lake-effect snow is particularly common. Snowbelts are typically found downwind of the lakes, principally off the eastern and southern shores...


    External links



    Lighthouses