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Lake Superior Facts

You may find these Lake Superior facts helpful on your visit to Minnesota's inland sea. Enjoy the attractions and adventures around, on, and in this greatest of the Great Lakes.

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Lake Superior facts
  • The Ojibwe called Lake Superior Gichigami, meaning "big water".
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in The Song of Hiawatha, called the lake "Gitche Gumee."
  • In the seventeenth century French explorers named the lake le lac supérieur, or "Upper Lake," because it was located above Lake Huron.
  • Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake on our planet.
  • Lake Superior contains 10% of all of the fresh water on earth.
  • Minnesota's lowest elevation point (602 feet) is Lake Superior and our highest elevation point (2,301 feet) is Eagle Mountain, just 13 miles away.
  • Lake Superior's 32,000 square mile surface area stretches across the border between the United States and Canada. 
  • Two countries, three states, one province and many First Nations surround Lake Superior's magnificent shoreline. See it from all sides on your Lake Superior Circle Tour.
  • Duluth, which sits on the Lake Superior North Shore, is one of the busiest seaports in the world.
Lake Superior's Historic North Shore: A Guided Tour
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Some of our most beautiful scenery and vacation fun can be found in the Lake Superior area. For most Minnesota visitors, the first glimpses are of the Lake Superior waterfront on their Duluth Minnesota vacations.

While in Duluth, you will want to visit Canal Park to watch ships come in and visit the Lake Superior Marine Museum. Enjoy a stroll along the lake walk, see the Duluth Aquarium, the Lake Superior Zoo and more.

From Duluth, travel on up the Lake Superior North Shore to state parks like Gooseberry Falls, Grand Portage and others. Enchanting small towns are situated along the lake.  Make stops at Knife River, Two Harbors and Grand Marais.

Other visitors to Minnesota would love to have you share your Lake Superior memories, stories and photos!

Lake Superior North Shore

In the museums, historic sites and along the lake itself, you will learn many more fascinating Lake Superior facts as you:

Lake Superior Adventures

If you are looking for adventure, Lake Superior is a spectacular environment for a sea kayaker to experience the world's largest freshwater lake as you paddle the Lake Superior water trail.

Scuba Diving Lake Superior and searching for Lake Superior shipwrecks is another adventure sport for some.

If you love to fish, Lake Superior Fishing Charters can get you out to where the salmon, trout and Lake Superior whitefish swim.

If you plan any adventure on Lake Superior you will want to stay aware of important Lake Superior facts about the lake's unique weather. The lake is so large that it creates its own weather systems. Sudden summer storms are legendary and are the reason for many of the famous shipwrecks.

In winter, those of us who live in Minnesota are used to hearing about the "Lake Superior snow effect," and taking amazing photos of Lake Superior ice.

There are lots of hotels, motels and Lake Superior vacation rentals in the Duluth area and all the way north to the Canadian border. Plan to spend your entire vacation exploring one area of the Lake Superior North Shore or get a map of Lake Superior and do the whole Lake Superior circle tour.


The natural history and cultural diversity will provide additional dimensions to a unique experience on this remarkable global resource. Enjoy all that Lake Superior has to offer, respect the lake, tread lightly on the shore, and have a great time!

Lake Superior Winter Lodge

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