Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Throughout most of the 17th century the Iroquois tribes settled along Lakes Erie and Ontario prevented exploration of the the lower lakes. These fierce warriors meant torture and death to any Frenchmen who tried to pass through. Instead explorers used the rivers out of Lake Ontario and portaged into Lake Huron sending new explorations North to Lake Superior. It was not until 1669 that Louis Jolliet explored Lake Erie.

There are thirty one islands in Lake Erie from the island village of Put in Bay Ohio, known as a "party" island for young people, to the Canadian Pelee Island where there is a "fragile and unique ecosystem" with plants rarely found in Canada, and two endangered snakes, to Kelley's Island which offers beaches and hiking and biking and glacial grooves left in the limestone. There are also reports of a Lake Erie Monster seen in its waters. :)

At an average depth of only 62 feet, winds over Lake Erie quickly kick up strong waves and storm surges, leaving the Lake's floor littered with shipwrecks, that are perfectly preserved in the salt free, cold water.

Erie carries the waters of Superior, Michigan, and Huron eastward across three states, and 241 miles later all that water suddenly plunges 173 feet into Lake Ontario, at a place called Niagara Falls. The most powerful waterfalls in North America, Niagara shrouds itself in a perpetual mist and rainbows. Expect a bad hair day if you ever visit them. 

At number six on Travel and Leisure's list of the World's Most-Visited Tourist Attractions, Niagara Falls' annual 22.5 million visitors beats out the Grand Canyon, all the Disney World Parks and even the Eiffel Tower in Paris France for tourists. 

Niagara is a spectacular sight and even the photos below cannot do it justice, so check out this link to a video of the Maid of the Mist––boats that carry tourists to the foot of the Falls. 
Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist  Thanks fiftytwopence.

Photo by Pluma of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side––Horsehoe Falls  



  1. Hmmm. Great read. I have lived along the great lakes my entire life and did not know that Erie had 31 islands. Niagara Falls is my favourite place on earth. My kids are sick of me telling them that we are so fortunate to have such a treasure in our own back yard! The other interesting piece of the Erie-Ontario connection, of course, is the Welland Canal Flight lock system.

    1. I always loved Niagara too Christine, no matter how many times I visit. :)