Lake Michigan is the second largest great lake by volume (1,180mi3, third largest by surface area), and it is located directly beside Lake Huron, the two are joined by the Straits of Makinac. It is also the only great lake that is located entirely within U.S. borders, as all others extend at least partially, some mostly, into Canada. The total surface area of the lake is about 57,756km2 (22,300mi2).

The lake is approximately 494km (307mi) long, and has a breadth of roughly 189km (118mi). The shoreline, which varies from not so developed at its most northern points, to heavily developed, so much as to support numerous metropolitan areas. The northern areas rely heavily on tourism and natural resources, while the south is much more industrial.

The drainage basin is nearly twice as large as the surface area and takes in part of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, as well as Wisconsin. At it's deepest point it is 280 metres, but the average depth of the lake is only 84 metres.

Lake Michigan's shore is lined with the world's largest fresh water dunes, they are visited by millions of people every year.

The lake name was changed more than once, from "Grand Lac", to "Lake of the Stinking Water", "Lake of the Puants", "Lac Des Illinois", "Lac St. Joseph", and was eventually referred to by the Indians of the area as "Michi Gami", or, Lake Michigan.

thanks to for being so darn good and dreamy. lots more information there, if you care to pick through it.. it takes oh so long, though.
I have to correct wampus's writeup, to say Lake Michigan is full of nastyass chemicals is like saying that because the beaches in Boston Harbor are sometimes closed, and because their are PCBs in the Hudson River where it empties into New York Harbor, that therefore the entire US Coast of the Atlantic Ocean is unswimmable. The Great Lakes are the largest fresh water deposit in the world.

The vast, vast majority of Great Lakes shoreline is fine for swimming.

Heavy metal and similar contaminants in fish harvested from Lake Michigan are much lower than just 20 years ago, to the point where its only a concern if you eat something like one fish a week, all year long.

In fact, if you camp on one of the Lake Michigan islands, like Garden Island, you can drink water straight from the lake, although you should boil or filter it to get rid of naturally occurring flora and fauna.

But, wampus' testes are not completely out of danger -- it is indeed damn cold.

My source for this opinion is my lifetime of personal experience, and also (and my boys are fine, thanks for asking)

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