Canada the Land of Lakes - Explore Incredible Lakes in Canada

Updated on May 12, 2024 | Canada eTA

Canada is home to the largest number of lakes in the world. Some of the biggest freshwater bodies are in this North American nation with lakes as large as the size of a single country. Some of the lakes are shared between the USA and Canada. The west of Canada is the place to be if you want to explore the waters of all these lakes.

More than seventy percent of Earth is covered in water hence it wouldn't be wrong to say that Earth could use a more aquatic name considering that the majority portion of land is surrounded by water. Um, that is why it is called blue planet right? And when talking about Canada blue is the word to go for. 

Canada’s lakes contribute to the country's freshwater requirement which is also 20 percent of the planet's freshwater.

The serenity and calmness that lakes offer are unsurpassed, the lakeside offers spectacular views in Canada. . Most of them allow you to explore their waters through paddling, swimming, and canoeing, and during winters you can also ski on some of the frozen lakes.

Although this might not be the first time with the mention of lakes in Canada, it is always fun to revisit this journey as we read along about this bluest of the blue lands.

Lake Family

The upper-east region of North America, connected with a system of lakes which drain in the Atlantic Ocean, has the world’s largest system of interconnected lakes called the Great Lakes System or the Great Lakes of North America. The five great lakes of North America are Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie

Canada has over two million lakes with several of them being larger than a hundred kilometres in surface area which includes the four Great Lakes in the country.

The Great Lakes are the largest group of interconnected lakes which are sometimes referred to as the inland seas, given the diverse climate of their own. Of the four Great Lakes in Canada, Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world after the Caspian Sea, the largest inland body of water. 

The Great Lakes System comprises the five main lakes only one of which is located entirely in the United States and are connected by the Great Lakes waterway used for travelling across from one body of water to another. 

After all this it wouldn't be new to know that more than twenty percent of freshwater on Earth comes from these inland lakes in Canada.

Lake Superior

Location – Superior

One of the five Great Lakes of North America and the largest Great Lake. It is 128,000 square kilometres in size. It holds 10% of the world's surface fresh water. It is shared by Ontario, Canada to the north, and states in the United States in other directions. This lake is also the largest freshwater lake in the world. The blue waters and the sandy shores might make you mistake the location for a beach.

There are many parks right near the lake where tourists like to take hikes and explore. The southern part of the lake around Whitefish Point is reputed to be the graveyard of the Great Lakes owing to a large number of shipwrecks in the area.

Lake Ontario

Location – Ontario

The smallest of the great lakes of North America gets its name from the Canadian province. Lighthouses on the shores of this lake. The source of the lake is the Niagara River and it finally meets the Atlantic Ocean. There are small islands along the shore of Lake Ontario. The lake is frequented not just by tourists but also by locals to see the massive skyline of Ontario while appreciating the waters of the lake.

Palette of Blue

If we happen to count the number of lakes in Canada it will probably never get over. Since more than three percent of the country is surrounded by freshwater lakes it wouldn’t be surprising to mention the spectacular beauty offered by these blue wonders. 

There are cities located by the lakes, there are national parks located at the edge of serene reservoirs and then there are mountain ranges sitting by the inland seas. Well, it would be hard to see a place without lakes in Canada. 

And each lake comes with its set of surprises, with some of them secluded enough that they can be reached only through hiking across the dense trails through the jungle.

Lake Louise is one of the most famous lakes in the country among travellers. The gorgeous body of water appears as an emerald glass as it reflects Mount Victoria on its surface. 

Most picture-perfect lakes in Canada can be accessed both in winters and summers, with each season offering its unique way of seeing nature. While winters become the time for backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, summers can be relished by exploring the meadows, waterfalls and flora and fauna in the surrounding regions.

Peyto Lake

Location – Alberta

The lake is found in Banff National Park on the Icefields Parkway. It is yet another glacial lake that is best visited late afternoon or early evening. You can capture a photograph of the highest point in Icefields Parkway of the Bow summit from the lake. The lake is the origin point of the Mistaya River in Canada.

Abraham Lake

Location – Alberta

The lake despite its blue-glacier-like look was created due to the damming of the North Saskatchewan River. It is a man-made lake that was formed because of the construction of the Bighorn Dam. The lake meets the North Saskatchewan River and when the ice of the lake touches the bubbles it creates a magical scene to witness. This is best viewed during the winter months.

Lake Louise

Location – Alberta

Lake Louise Lake Louise, Banff National Park

The Lake is famed as the lake of little fishes. The lake is fed by the Lefroy Glacier. The lake gets its water from glaciers that melt from the mountains of Alberta. The aqua blue color could lead to an illusion of you believing that the lake is tropical but a few seconds in the water is enough for you to know that the lake is freezing year-round. A stellar view of the lake can be seen from Fairview Mountain. The lake despite covering less than 1 square mile of the area is one of the finest in Canada. Rocky mountains make the lake picturesque as they are set against the backdrop of the lake.

Lake Louise is considered a Royalty among the lakes in Canada and was incidentally named for Queen Victoria's daughter.

There are plenty of tracks for hikers, walkers, and bicycling enthusiasts to take on surrounding Lake Louise. If you want to relax and stay right near the lake, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the place you should head to.

Maligne Lake

Location – Alberta

The lake is situated in Jasper Park, at the base of the Maligne mountains. It is the largest lake in the park and the longest lake in the Canadian Rockies. The lake gives you spectacular views of the glacial mountains that surround it and is a viewpoint for three glaciers near the lake.

The lake has a small island near its coast called Spirit Island to which tourists can paddle or rent a boat to visit.

In addition to Lake Louise, Peyto Lake, Moraine Lake, Abraham Lake and Maligne Lake discover other Must See Places in Alberta.

Moraine Lake

Location – Alberta

Moraine Lake Moraine Lake, another picturesque lake in Banff National Park

The lake is found in the Banff National Park in the Valley of Ten Peaks, very close to the famous Lake Louise. It shares the same pristine and sparkling colour as Lake Louise. The lake has tantalizing blue waters that will make you want to spend all day watching it. Moraine Lake is about 50 feet deep and around 120 acres in size. The picturesque backdrop of mountains and alpine forest adds to the beauty of this lake. The lake is not accessible in the winter as the road is closed due to snow and the lake also remains frozen. Moraine Lake is the most photographed location and appears in Canadian currency as well.

There is a lodge also which lets you stay overnight overlooking the lake which is open seasonally from late May to early November.

Emerald Lake

Location – British Columbia

Emerald Lake Emerald Lake

The lake is situated in the Yoho National Park and is the largest of 61 lakes found in the park. Emerald Lake is named after the stone as the extremely fine particles of powdered limestone give the lake its natural green hue. The lake is covered by dense greenery on all sides. It is surrounded by mountains which can be seen through the reflection of the water. This lake is open for tourists to canoe and explore the waters. In the wintertime, the lake is a popular spot for cross-country skiing.

A trail surrounds the lake for hikers to enjoy the view and get some exercise. If you want to relax and grab a quick bite or stay near the lake, the Emerald Lake Lodge is a resort right on the water’s edge.

The emerald colour of the lake shines and is most beautiful in July as the lake is generally frozen until June, making July the best time to visit Emerald Lake.

Garibaldi Lake

Location – British Columbia

Garibaldi Lake is located in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The lake makes you put effort to get to it as you need to hike a 9km trail to reach the lake. This hike takes about 5-6 hours to complete. You will have an uphill climb through forests and meadows filled with flowers during summer. Many tourists opt to camp at Garibaldi overnight as heading back is quite tedious to do in one day. The lake gets its blue shade from glacier melts which are called glacier flour.

But if you are not up to taking a hike then you can sit back and relax on a scenic flight to get a bird’s eye view of the lake.

Spotted Lake

Location – British Columbia

The lake is close to the town of Osoyoos in the Similkameen Valley. Spotted Lake gets its name from the ‘spots’ of green and blue that are visible on the lake. The mineral properties of this lake enable the formation of saline during summer and this causes the spots. The best time to see the spots is during summer.

There are no activities permitted in the lake as it is a protected and ecologically sensitive area. Spotted Lake is a sacred place of the Okanagan Nation.

Okanagan Lake

Location- British Columbia

The lake spans over 135 kilometres through the heart of the Okanagan Valley, this beautiful freshwater lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and surreal surroundings. Okanagan Lake offers an aw-striking experience with its rolling hills, lush vineyards, and orchards. From boating and kayaking to swimming and fishing, the visitors can enjoy various water activities.

Free Sailing

There are various ways of exploring a country and if one is into the adventure side of a place then canoeing, hiking, and cruising could be one of the unique ways of exploring Canada. 

The country being interconnected with inland waterways offers a glimpse of nature from the open lakes which are as large as could be the size of any ocean. 

Many of the lakes, like Lake Ontario, are decorated with natural beauty on one side and well-built city centres on the other side of the body of water. Such lakes in Canada offer a perfect glimpse of interconnectedness between nature and the world, with the waters of the clean lakes always glowing in the perfect shade of blue. 

In the clean waterfronts around cities, it is common to see yachts of all sizes sailing around the area which can also be one of the ways of exploring the country. Besides, if you are interested in going deeper into the adventure side then windsurfing, paddle boarding or even horse riding through the forest trails could be your way of touring Canada.

A Scenic Tour

Lake Family of Canada Great Lakes System

While it may not be practically possible to cover thousands of kilometres of lakes spread all over the country by individually exploring the beauty of each one but the Great Routes Circle Tour, a road system designed to cover all the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River in North America is the best way to explore all major lakes in the region. 

The highway circumnavigating all four Great Lakes in Canada, including Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and the smallest of all, Lake Erie, indeed, is a practical way to catch a glimpse of these distinguished natural lakes spread around the country. From the largest and most widespread to the most secluded and gorgeous, there might not be any reason why visiting Canada’s lakes may not be on your list.

Canada is home to a plethora of lakes, especially the five great lakes of North America which are Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie. Learn more at Incredible Lakes in Canada

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