Growing up in Wisconsin near the Minnesota border, there was a little rivalry between the states. More than once I heard the claim that Wisconsin actually has more lakes than Minnesota probably from people who had lived in the badger state for their entire life. So I wanted to check this out.
|Lake Minnetonka, which means "Big Water" (Boricuaeddie)|
Wisconsin may claim more, but by any consistent measure, Minnesota has more lakes. Also more lake area, not counting the great lakes that form state borders. Minnesota has about 2.6 million acres of lakes compared to one million for Wisconsin. Counting great lakes, Wisconsin jumps to 7.1 million acres, from large portions of Lakes Superior and Michigan. The state of Michigan, by being surrounded by great lakes, has over 25 million acres of water, second only to Alaska, despite having no ocean coast.
Finally, don't forget about the vast expanse to the north. Whoever gave Minnesota its nickname probably felt silly if they ever made it to Canada. Ontario, Minnesota's Canadian border buddy, claims to have over 250,000 lakes, more than the entire United States. And Quebec is even more lake filled. If only counting lakes over three sq km, which is 741 acres, Quebec has almost 10,000 of these lakes: 8,275 to be exact. Ontario has 3,899. Minnesota and Wisconsin have a pathetic 318 and 240 in comparison. Quebec has 43.7 million acres of lakes, despite not bordering a great lake, 16 times more than Minnesota. Quebec is 6.6 times larger than Minnesota.
Canada as a whole claims to have over two million lakes, compared to about 125,000 for the lower 48 U.S. states. Topping even this claim, is Alaska, which claims to have over three million lakes over 20 acres. Many of these are on the northern edge of the state and are seasonal and vary with snowmelt. As for large lakes, Alaska only has one larger than 1000 sq km compared to 24 for Canada. Minnesota may be the land of 10,000 lakes, but if you want to see the land of millions of lakes, just head north. Use the map below to explore some of the lakes of Canada.
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