Lake Michigan

The Lake Michigan [ ze ː ˌ mɪʃɪgən ] (English Lake Michigan) belongs to the group of the five Great Lakes of North America. It is 176 m high, has an area of ​​58,016 km ² and a maximum water depth of 281 m ( for comparison: Switzerland has an area of ​​41,287 km ²). Its length is 494 km, its width 190 km, and the shore stretches over 2633 km. As the only Great Lakes it lies completely in the U.S., it borders the states of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.

The name Michigan is probably derived from mishi - gami from, which means in the language of the Anishinabe Indians as much as large bodies of water ( engl. great water ). The name of the state of Michigan is in turn borrowed from the name of the lake.

By Mackinacstraße (English Straits of Mackinac ) is connected to Lake Michigan Lake Huron. Hydrological is at Michigan and Lake Huron but a large lake, which is about 8 km wide, the narrowest point Mackinacstraße. Accordingly, there is also no gradient. Height differences between two lakes are caused by tides.

The beaches of northern Michigan are the only beaches in the world, where one can find Petoskey stones. 1838, started to build the Clinton - Kalamazoo Canal to Lake St. Clair, which was never completed. On the eastern shore of the lake is a nature reserve Sleeping Bear Dunes. On the east bank is also the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant.


Along the shores of Lake Michigan live about 12 million people. The southern tip of the lake is heavily industrialized. Cities with more than 30,000 residents along the shore are:


  • Green Bay
  • Kenosha
  • Manitowoc
  • Milwaukee
  • Racine
  • Sheboygan


  • Chicago
  • Evanston
  • Highland Park
  • Waukegan


  • Gary
  • Hammond
  • Michigan City
  • Portage


  • Muskegon

National Parks

Around the Lake Michigan there are several national parks, such as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. An overview can be found in the table below:

  • Chicago Park District Beaches
  • Duck Lake State Park
  • Fayette Historic State Park
  • Iceland Fisherman's State Park
  • Grand Haven State Park
  • Grand Mere State Park
  • Harrington Beach State Park
  • Holland State Park
  • Hoffmaster State Park
  • Illinois Beach State Park
  • Indian Lake State Park
  • Indiana Dunes State Park
  • Ludington State Park
  • Leelanau State Park
  • Mears State Park
  • Muskegon State Park
  • Newport State Park
  • Orchard Beach State Park
  • Peninsula State Park
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park
  • Silver Lake State Park
  • Traverse City State Park
  • Terry Andrae State Park
  • Van Buren State Park
  • Warren Dunes State Park
  • Wells State Park
  • Wilderness State Park


The shipping traffic on the Michigan tradition. In the 21st century, the traffic takes place mainly with modern ferries and cargo shipping. A classic car of navigation on Lake Michigan, the City of Milwaukee.


On Lake Michigan, some of the worst maritime disasters in American history, who found heavy rainfall in contemporary media, ensured much turmoil and partly had an influence on new safety regulations occurred.

On November 22, 1847, came from overheated steam boiler on the steamer Phoenix in a fire that destroyed the ship and dropped; about 250 people died. On September 24, 1856, one of the most serious transport accidents of the State of Wisconsin occurred with the sinking of the Niagara with 60 to 70 dead ( go to the sources apart). On September 8, 1860, came on the Lake Michigan to the worst ever maritime disaster in the history of the Great Lakes, as the steamer Lady Elgin sank after a collision with a schooner. About 400 people were killed.