In need of a refreshing, outdoor adventure? We highly suggest stopping by one
of the many lakes located across the country for some summer fun. Although trips to the
lake are in season year round for the diverse list of available activities, we think the
warmer months call for a spot that also offers some relief. Not only do lakes give an opportunity
for adventures but they have served historic purposes that span over thousands
of years and continue to be a key resource to daily life.
Lakes can naturally form over time as glaciers melt into basins that continue to
accumulate water. They can also take shape from the shift of tectonic plates, which impacts
the natural landscape and in some cases form as a result of volcanoes. Beyond
the natural creation, lakes can be manmade, typically to aid in industrial agriculture,
domestic water supply or to enhance esthetics. The five Great Lakes which span
throughout the United States and Canada make up 21% of the world's freshwater supply,
although some lakes are made up of salt water.
Each state lends itself to a unique scenery with lakes, both big and small. Alaska
for example has roughly three million lakes. Minnesota has the nickname of the “land of
10,000 lakes” even though it's home to about 12,000! If you’re trying to catch a glimpse
of Bigfoot, you can head to California and steak out Caddo Lake for a possible sighting.
If you have dreams of windsurfing, bear watching, or boat cruising, look no further.
We’ve compiled a variety of spots you can visit that will meet everyone’s needs.
Take a look below and don’t forget your sunscreen!
Crater Lake [Oregon]
The deepest in the U.S, this lake accommodates the best scuba diving scenery with an
underwater volcano that collapsed roughly 7,700 years ago, lava formations and
wildlife. If you don’t feel like getting wet, you can arrange to take the Wizard Island boat
cruise that sails along the clear blue water around the top of the volcano.
Flat Lake [Montana]
Along the shore is an all-inclusive lodge which accommodates equestrian lessons, trail
rides, barrel racing and cookouts. If you want to practice your rodeo and rope skills, plan
a trip to one of the local dude ranches. Packhorse camping excursions into the mountains
provide great views of the lake.
Lake Champlain [New York / Vermont]
Great for its rich historic background as it played a crucial role in the French and Indian
War, American Revolution and War of 1812. It also housed popular forts on the New
York side like Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Approximately 300 shipwrecks sit at the
lake floor, which can be explored through scuba diving or at the Lake Champlain Maritime
Lake Clark [Alaska]
If you want to make it to this secluded spot, your options are limited but definitely worth
it. Snowdogs, trekking through the Alaskan bush or float planes are just about the only
choices but are great for accommodating excitement. Snow capped peaks, lush forests
and whitewater rivers make up the scenery you can expect to see here. Stay for a while
at the backwoods campground or check out the hiking trails.
Lake Erie [Ohio]
Following the famous and destructive lake fire of 1961, the area has taken a turn to be a
notorious eco-friendly sanctuary. Nearly forty years following the post-fire environmental
cleanup, birds have flocked from all over to call this home. Over 400 avian species can
be spotted here along the 312-mile stretch of waterfront, which includes marshland, estuaries
Lake Havasu [Arizona]
Meander through more than 20 networks of off-road trails on ATV, dirt bike or 4-wheeler
for an exhilarating outing. If your idea of adventure is more in line with a party than
physical activity, this is the spot. Notorious for around the clock boat parties, Lake
Havasu is equally lively inland with bars, nightclubs, waterfront hotels and restaurants.
Lake Kabetogama [Minnesota]
This waterway makes up part of Voyageurs National Park, which offers more than two
dozen wilderness campsites that are only accessible by boat. It's the perfect backdrop
for canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding and maintains wildlife sightings of bears, bald
eagles, wolves and moose.
Lake Michigan [Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois and Minnesota]
Although this is part of the Great Lakes, it is the only one located entirely in the United
States. Best for fishing if you like trout, salmon, bass or whitefish, herring or northern
pike. With more than 1,600 miles of shoreline, this lake offers more beach than any other
lake in the country and has 59 lighthouses signifying the long history of the centuries
old shipping industry. Spend time at the rolling dunes or check out the Traverse City
Lake Tahoe [California / Nevada]
Although this area is best for winter activities like skiing, snowboarding and tubing,
we’re including it as a popular travel destination. Numerous shore line resorts and casual
boating are great reasons to visit, along with the crystal clear water and abundance
of fresh mountain air. If you have mild training in mind, take advantage of the high altitude
while you’re here.
Lake Washington [Washington]
Every summer, the world's fastest boats pull into town for the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane
Series. With average speeds exceeding 200mph, it’s a must-see event for any adrenaline
junkies out there. If you can’t make it to the Seafair event, checkout the museum
on the races in Kent, Washington.
Lake Winnebago [Wisconsin]
With steady winds reaching up to 40mph, this is the ideal location for wind and kite surfing.
It also doesn’t hurt that the shallow, sandy bottom aids in water temperatures consistently
between 75-85 degrees. Just keep an eye out for sturgeon, a bottom feeding
fish that can reach up to seven feet long and more than 200 pounds.
Mono Lake [California]
This lake has more salt which lends itself to a density greater than the Pacific Ocean. It
stands over one million years old and is a hotspot for photographers and guests who
stop by to marvel at the unique beauty of the natural landscape.
Table Rock [Missouri]
Nestled in the Ozarks of southern Missouri, Table Rock Lake draws visitors for their annual
Bluegrass and Barbecue festivals. Recreational water sports, searching for catfish
and relaxing at the resort are a few of the common activities while traditional country
music is the soundtrack on the lake. Wellness retreats and lakeside golf are also itinerary
Yellowstone Lake [Wyoming]
Steady wind makes this the ideal spot for sailing, which is why people have been venturing
out to do just that since 1871. The wilderness and wildlife canvas provide breathtaking
views you can’t get anywhere else. Rent a houseboat if you want to stay a few
days and explore the lake.