Canadian Lakes

Canadian lakes are part of the abundance of natural resources that make Canada a true outdoor wonderland. In between the Atlantic and the Pacific ocean, the Hudson Bay and the U.S. border, nearly 9 percent of the country’s landmass is made up of freshwater lakes, a rather significant number when you consider that Canada is the second largest country on earth. Canada is home to four of the five Great Lakes along with one of tourism’s true treasures, Lake Louise in the Rockies.

Many cities are nestled along the shores of lakes in Canada, including Thunder Bay (Lake Superior), Yellowknife (Great Slave Lake), and Toronto (Lake Ontario). Each province and territory boasts lakes where people come to have fun and admire the scenery. No matter where you choose to roam, chances are good you’ll be near one of Canada’s lakes.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise
Lake Louise

It’s a scene that’s appeared on countless screen savers and desktops—a lake as blue as the sky with mountains in the distance. This scene does exist in real life and is one of the favorite places to visit in the Canadian Rockies. Lake Louise, formed when a glacier slid through thousands of years ago, is nestled in Banff National Park, in the Alberta town also called Lake Louise. The town was named for a daughter of Queen Victoria, the lake is the starting point for many adventures. A deep network of hiking trails takes you to Mount Niblock. Mirror Lake, and some other scenic places. In the summertime, visitors enjoy kayaking and canoe rides, along with boat rentals. One of the most elegant hotels in western Canada is located along the shores of the lake: the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. In the early 20th century, the Canadian Pacific Railway built luxury hotels along the Canadian lakes and other scenic places. They remain at the top of the list for discerning travelers and continue to offer welcoming service.

Great Lakes – Huron, Erie, Superior, Ontario

Great Lakes – Huron, Erie, Superior, Ontario
Great Lakes – Huron, Erie, Superior, Ontario

The chain of Great Lakes, shared between the U.S. and Canada, hold more than 20 percent of the world’s freshwater, and they are extremely important to trade, transportation, and tourism. Four of the five inland lakes are found within Canada—only Lake Michigan is solely within the United States. From Lake Superior in the west to Lake Ontario in the east, these Canada lakes offer a world of possibilities for vacations in any season. During the summer, the list of opportunities is as long as your imagination—cruises, swimming, fishing,  chilling out at the cabin, or whatever you want—on and off the lake. When the snow starts falling, a whole new group of activities opens up to enjoy along the Great Lakes.

Great Bear Lake

Great Bear Lake
Great Bear Lake

Up in the Northwest Territories, the Great Bear Lake is the biggest of the lakes in Canada, discounting the Great Lakes that are also located in the United States. The seventh largest lake in the world is located north of the Arctic Circle, which means plenty of ice and winter scenery. The small town of Deline is located on the southwest corner of the lake, and mining operations take place on the eastern shore. During the warmer months of the year, Great Bear Lake offers fantastic fishing opportunities, and many adventure outfitters lead excursions to this northern outdoor paradise and the fishing lodges along the shores of this northern lake.

Lake Winnipeg

Lake Winnipeg
Lake Winnipeg

This lake in Manitoba shares a name with the province’s largest city, but it’s actually located about a half hour to the north of the city. One of the largest freshwater lakes in Canada is long and narrow, lined by deep forests along its border. On the southern edge of the lake, you’ll find sandy beaches and recreational areas that are excellent for sea kayaking, hiking, and even golfing. Lake Winnipeg is also one of Canada’s richest fishing lakes. Both commercial and leisure fishermen find large hauls of goldeneye and whitefish. Rarely seen emerald-green walleye are abundant in Lake Winnipeg, especially in the spring and fall.

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