The Great Lakes include Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake, Erie, and Lake Ontario. You can remember them by thinking of the word HOMES which takes the first letter of each lake to make the word.

The Great Lakes give us the largest supply of fresh water on the earth. These lakes are bordered by the six Midwestern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Only Lake Michigan is entirely within the United States borders while the other lakes are bordered on the north by Canada which is another country.

The Great Lakes are connected to each other by a series of dams, lakes and rivers. You could travel on the Great Lakes starting at the city of Duluth, Minnesota on Lake Superior and get all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The trip would cover about 2,340 miles. All of these dam, lakes, and rivers were linked together when the United States and Canada agreed to develop the Saint Lawrence Seaway which was completed in 1959. Today great ships travel this passage carrying grain, taconite ore, timber and other cargos. Some of the cities located on the great lakes are: Duluth, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; and, Toronto, Canada.



About twenty thousand years ago the temperature got very cold and a great ice mass, called a glacier, covered Canada and parts of the United States. The glacier moved down covering over the United States as far as Missouri. As the glacier moved down it would scrape and grind the land, carving out the places where canyons, river, and lakes would later remain. At times the temperature would begin to warm up and the glacier would start to melt leaving water in these areas. This happened several times. It was this glacier that created the great lakes.

Back to Great Lakes Main Page