The Great Lakes and the Great Lakes of North America are a series of connected freshwater lakes. They are mainly in the upper mid-east region of North America, on the Canada-United States border, connecting to the Atlantic Ocean through the Saint Lawrence River. These Great Lakes include Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. But hydrologically, there are only four lakes because Lakes Huron and Michigan join at the Straits of Mackinac. These lakes form the Great Lakes Waterway. The Great Lakes are also the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total area.
Beneath the waters of the Great Lakes, you will be able to find relics of days past. They are scattered with well-preserved shipwrecks and artifacts from the life long ago. This is the reason why a lot of divers enjoy exploring the Great Lakes. But aside from diving, you can also enjoy snorkeling in the Great Lakes. It’s because you will also see hundreds of fish and other life at home beneath the waves here.
If you want to experience snorkeling here and see the shipwrecks and other artifacts from long ago, were are going to give you a list of the best places to snorkel in the Great Lakes.
Kelleys Island in Lake Erie
Lake Erie the fourth largest lake by surface area among the five Great Lakes in North America. It is located on the International Boundary between Canada and the United States. Many people visit this place to do watersports such as Kayaking, diving, long-distance swimming, and snorkeling.
One of the best places you can visit here to snorkel is Kelleys Island. It is both a village in Erie County, Ohio and the island which it fully occupies in Lake Erie. There are about 1700 shipwrecks in Lake Erie and you can explore about 50of them when you go snorkeling near the shores of Kelleys Island.
Fathom Five National Marine Park in Lake Huron
This is a National Marine Conservation Area in the Georgian Bay part of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. It is renowned for scuba diving and as well as snorkeling because it is Canada’s first underwater park. There are 22 known shipwrecks in this marine park. It is a great place to snorkel regardless of your experience as a snorkeler.
Fathom Five National Marine Park is over 116 square kilometers of crystal clear water surrounded by an archipelago of 19 islands. You will be able to find here sheer cliffs and huge caves both on the island and beneath the turquoise waters. There are massive timbers here that will give snorkelers a glimpse of steamers and cargo ships that brought passengers and supplies to the Bruce Peninsula more than a century ago.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Lake Michigan
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located on Lake Michigan near Traverse City in Northern Michigan. Some of the shipwrecks in the waters here are shallow enough for snorkeling that’s why this is also a great place for snorkelers.
The park covers a 35-mile-long or 56 km stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline and as well as North and South Manitou islands.This park was established for its outstanding natural features including dune formations, beaches, and as well as forests.
Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior
Isle Royale is one of the most accessible National Park in Minnesota, however, only a few people visit this place. This park offers a wide array of opportunities.
Its surrounding shoreline contains the National Park’s Service’s largest collection of shipwrecks, that is why snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters makes for an exceptional experience. It is also a paradise for photographers because of its breathtaking coastlines, abundant wildflowers, and diverse wildlife. You can also try chartered boat tours here to see over 200 islets that surround the main island.
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron
This is another great place to visit in Lake Huron if you want to go snorkeling. There are nearly 100 historic shipwrecks that have been discovered in Thunder Bay and they are among the best preserved in the world. You can snorkel here to see those historical shipwrecks. Aside from that, you can also fish in the sanctuary, tour the sanctuary’s shipwreck museum in Downtown Alpena, or experience Great Lakes’ shipwrecks up-close aboard the Lady Michigan glass-bottom boat. There are indeed lots of activities you can try here after your snorkeling adventure.
These are some of the best places to snorkel in the Great Lakes. You will definitely find here lots of breathtaking shipwrecks and artifacts, and as well as beautiful marine life. But remember to be careful as well and follow the rules of each place because some of the shipwrecks are too deep for snorkelers and are only suitable for professional divers. If you are looking for more snorkeling destinations, you can also check out our post on The Best Locations to Snorkel in the Gulf of Mexico.