If you’ve never set your eyes on the Great Lakes region of North America, you’re in for a welcomed surprise. In fact, when most people see the Great Lakes for the first time, it’s been known to inspire and mesmerize.
Formed when the climate began to warm about 20,000 years ago, the Great Lakes took shape as the massive continental ice sheet retreated and glacial meltwater began to fill the basins of the northern tier.
Scientists have theorized that the Great Lakes took the shape that we know today around 3,000 years ago, and they are still a sight to see. And, what better way to see them than to take a Great Lakes road trip?
So get ready to explore one of the greatest natural formations of North America. Here, we’ll outline a few facts about the Great Lakes region of North America.
Get Your Vehicle Ready
The first thing you’ll need to do before hitting the road is to make sure that your vehicle is running well. In addition, you’ll also want to review your auto insurance policy to make sure you have a towing package or roadside assistance of some kind.
If you find that your policy is inadequate, shop around and compare new auto insurance quotes, and choose an adequate policy that meets your needs.
You’ll also need to go over your car thoroughly before hitting the road. The following checklist will provide you with a starting point:
- Check for proper tire inflation
- Check to ensure that your spare tire is inflated
- Top off all fluids
- Check or change oil and filter if needed
- Check all headlights and taillights
- Check for proper windshield wiper function
Finally, if you need a tune-up, take your car into the shop and have a certified mechanic check it over thoroughly.
Lake Erie & Ontario
Named after the Erie Natives who once lived along its shores, Lake Eerie is home to one of the more spectacular sights you’ll be able to visit along your road trip, Niagara Falls. At the same time, Lake Ontario is adjacent to Erie, and gets its name from the Iroquoian language meaning “Lake of shining waters.”
Niagara Falls is a group of three massive waterfalls situated at the end of the Niagara gorge known as the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls on the American side, and the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side. The Niagara River, which produces these falls, essentially connects Lakes Ontario and Erie.
While traveling around the falls, be sure to walk through the park and check out the scenic views from the American side. But, if you want to see the best views, you’ll need to cross the border into Canada, because Horseshoe Falls boasts the most scenic vistas in this region.
No Great Lakes road trip is complete without visiting the shores of Lake Superior. This massive lake is the largest of all the Great Lakes, and in fact, holds 10 percent of all fresh surface water on the planet.
To illustrate just how big Lake Superior actually is, its deepest point is just over 1,300 feet deep, and there is enough water in Lake Superior to cover all of North and South America in water up to one foot deep.
But be cautious if you choose to get out on the lake, as it can become just as angry as the sea if the weather is inclement.
Lakes Michigan & Huron
Finally, we have Lakes Michigan and Huron. In fact, Lake Huron is the second-largest Great Lake, but its massiveness is dwarfed by the size of Lake Superior.
Lake Michigan is home to the largest freshwater sand dunes in the world, and it’s also home to Mackinac Island, a popular tourist destination, and a town that loves to party.
You’re going to want to plan for a few days while visiting the Great Lakes because even though all of these bodies of water seem fairly close together, it can take many hours to travel around the lakes and see everything that makes them the wonders that they truly are.