Top 10 States with the Most Lakes

Top 10 States with the Most Lakes

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Beneath the surface of America lies a hidden world of breathtaking beauty and awe-inspiring wonder – a world of lakes that stretch out as far as the eye can see, glittering in the sunlight and teeming with life.  From the mist-shrouded mountain lakes of the West to the sprawling Great Lakes of the Midwest, each state has its own unique collection of these natural treasures.  In this article, we’ll dive into the top 10 states with the most lakes, exploring the wonders that lie within their shores.

#1: Alaska Lakes (3,000,000) 

Alaska is home to more than 3 million lakes, covering over 5 percent of the state’s total land area.  Some of the largest lakes in Alaska include Iliamna Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in Alaska and is known for its excellent salmon fishing, and Lake Clark, which is a popular destination for kayaking and camping.  Many of Alaska’s lakes are only accessible by bush plane, making them remote and pristine destinations for adventure-seekers.  Anecdotes about Alaska’s lakes include sightings of Nessie-like monsters, such as the Igopogo in Iliamna Lake and the Lake Iliamna Monster in Lake Iliamna.

#2: Wisconsin Lakes (15,000)

Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes, ranging in size from small ponds to massive bodies of water like Lake Winnebago, which covers over 130,000 acres.  The state’s many lakes provide ample opportunities for fishing, and Wisconsin is home to some of the best musky fishing in the world.  The state is also known for its many picturesque lakeside towns and resorts.  Some of the lakes in Wisconsin are known for their mysterious underwater formations, like the submerged pyramids in Rock Lake.

#3: Minnesota Lakes (11,842)

Minnesota, known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” has a whopping 11,842 lakes that are over 10 acres in size. Some of the largest lakes in Minnesota include Lake Superior, which is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, and Mille Lacs Lake, which is known for its excellent walleye fishing.  Minnesota is also home to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a popular destination for canoeing and camping enthusiasts. One fun fact is that some of the lakes in Minnesota are connected by underground tunnels, which allows fish to migrate between them.

#4: Michigan Lakes (11,000)

Michigan is another state with a large number of lakes, boasting over 11,000 inland lakes and more than 3,200 miles of shoreline along the Great Lakes. The state is home to some of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, including Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.  In addition to swimming, boating, and fishing, Michigan’s lakes offer opportunities for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and other water sports.  Michigan’s lakes are known for the legend of the Michigan Dogman, a creature similar to the Bigfoot, that has been reported near some of the lakes.

#5: Washington Lakes (8,000)

Washington state has over 8,000 lakes, including Lake Chelan, which is one of the deepest lakes in the United States and is over 50 miles long.  The state’s many lakes offer opportunities for fishing, boating, and water sports, and Washington is also home to numerous hot springs and spas. Lake Chelan is a popular destination for wine tasting and scenic cruises, and its clear, turquoise waters are surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. Lake Chelan was once used as a transportation route for gold prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush.

#6: New York Lakes (7,600)

New York has over 7,600 freshwater lakes, including the Finger Lakes, a group of 11 long, narrow lakes that were carved by glaciers.  The state’s many lakes provide opportunities for fishing, boating, and water sports, and the Finger Lakes region is home to numerous wineries and vineyards.  One interesting anecdote about New York’s lakes is that the legend of the Loch Ness Monster’s cousin, known as Champ, has been reported in Lake Champlain, which is shared with Vermont and Quebec.

#7: Florida Lakes (7,500)

Florida may be known for its beaches, but the state also has over 7,500 lakes, including Lake Okeechobee, which covers over 730 square miles and is the second largest freshwater lake in the contiguous United States. Florida’s lakes offer opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming, and many of the state’s lakes are surrounded by lush vegetation and wildlife.  One interesting story is that some of Florida’s lakes are said to be haunted, like Lake Crescent, where a ghostly woman is said to appear on the shore.

#8: Texas Lakes (6,700)

Texas has over 6,700 lakes, including some of the largest reservoirs in the United States, such as Lake Texoma and Lake Ray Hubbard.  The state’s many lakes offer opportunities for boating, fishing, and water sports, and Texas is home to some of the best bass fishing in the country. Lake Amistad, which is shared with Mexico, was formed by the construction of the Amistad Dam on the Rio Grande River in the late 1960s.  The lake’s name comes from the Spanish word for “friendship,” reflecting the cooperation between the two countries in its creation.

#9: Maine Lakes (6,000)

Maine may be known for its rocky coastline and lobsters, but the state also has over 6,000 lakes, including Moosehead Lake, which is the largest lake in the state and covers over 117 square miles. Maine’s many lakes offer opportunities for fishing, boating, and water sports, and the state is home to numerous campgrounds and lodges. Moosehead Lake is a popular destination for fishing and hunting, and it is also said to be the location of a mysterious underwater creature known as the Moosehead Lake Monster.

#10: California Lakes (3,000)

California may be known for its beaches and surfing, but the state also has over 3,000 lakes, including Lake Tahoe, which is one of the largest and deepest alpine lakes in the world.  The state’s many lakes offer opportunities for fishing, boating, and water sports, and many are surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife. Lake Tahoe is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, and its crystal-clear waters attract visitors year-round.  The lake’s clarity has been measured at over 70 feet deep, making it one of the clearest lakes in the world.

These top 10 states with the most lakes offer a tantalizing glimpse into the incredible diversity and beauty of America’s natural landscapes.  With each lake offering its own unique charm and allure, there’s no shortage of adventures to be had and memories to be made.  Whether you’re an avid fisherman, a nature lover, or simply someone who seeks the peace and tranquility of the water, these lakes offer a world of wonder and excitement that is waiting to be explored.  So pack your bags, grab your fishing gear, and set out on an adventure to discover the magic of America’s lakes for yourself.

More Great Top 10’s

Lakes and Maps

Lakes and maps have an intricate and mesmerizing relationship. Maps are often the gateway to discovering the secrets and wonders hidden within a lake’s depths.  A map can reveal the twists and turns of a lake’s shoreline, its depths, and its hidden coves. It can show the location of a lake in relation to the surrounding area, marking the mountains, rivers, and towns that frame it.  The colors on a map can hint at the clarity of the water, the vegetation surrounding the lake, and the terrain beneath the surface.  A map can also be a reflection of a lake’s history, marking the locations of important battles, settlements, and landmarks.

Lakes and maps are like two sides of a coin, each one revealing a different aspect of the same object.  Maps give us a way to understand and navigate the physical world around us, while lakes remind us of the beauty and mystery that lies within it.  Together, they invite us to explore, discover, and connect with the natural world in ways that are both tangible and transcendent. Whether we’re gazing at a map or standing at the edge of a lake, we are reminded that the world is a vast and wondrous place, full of mysteries and wonders waiting to be explored.

Learn more about Maps

  • Topographical Maps:  Representation of the physical features of a region or area.
  • Contour Maps:  Representation of the contours of the land surface or ocean floor.
  • Raised Relief Maps:  Representation of land elevations with raised features indicating landforms.
  • Terrain Maps:  Representation of the physical features of a terrain or landmass.
  • USGS Topographic Maps:  Representation of topographic features and land elevations based on USGS data.
  • USGS Historical Topographic Maps:  Representation of historical topographic maps created by the USGS.
  • Watershed Maps:  Representation of the areas where water flows into a particular river or lake.
  • Elevation Maps:  Representation of land and water elevations with high precision.
  • Physical Maps:  Representation of physical features of the Earth’s surface such as landforms, oceans, and plateaus.
  • Bathymetric Maps:  Representation of the topography and features of the ocean floor.
  • NOAA Maps:  Representation of atmospheric, oceanographic, and environmental data by NOAA.
  • Nautical Maps:  Representation of the underwater features and depth of an area for navigation purposes.
  • Geologic Maps:  Representation of the geologic features of an area such as rock types, faults, and folds. 
  • Satellite Maps:  Representation of earth from high-definition satellite imagery.

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