Lake Huron is one of the lakes that form the famous Great Lakes in North America. It gets its name from the Huron people who were the original inhabitants of the region. The lake has the largest shoreline of all the Great Lakes and is the second largest in this group. Lake Huron is sometimes referred to as Huron-Michigan because it is essentially two lakes which are Michigan and Huron separated by the Straits of Mackinac. Lake Superior drains its water to Lake Huron via St Mary’s River, while the Lake is drained by St Claire River.
St. Mary’s River
The river is the primary inflow into Lake Huron flowing 74.5 miles southeast of the lake after draining Lake Superior, the full length of the river is an international border that separates the United States from Canada in Michigan and Ontario respectively. The tributaries of St Mary in Canada include Fort Creek and the Bar River while those in the US include Gogomain River and the Charlotte River. St Mary’s river is characterized by rapids which provided a trading center in the 16th century for Native Americans who also fished in the area. Today the rapids can be passed by ships through Soo Locks and Sault Ste. Marie Canal, which are two human-made canals. St Mary’s Canal is also home to the Edison Sault Hydroelectric Plant which is one of the largest in the world at over 1,340 feet.
St. Claire River
St Claire River drains Lake Huron and is its main outflow. The river spans a length of 40.5 miles and drains water from Lake Huron to Lake Claire in the process also forming a boundary between Ontario in Canada and Michigan in the US. Some scientists consider the river to be a strait since it is a passageway that connects St. Clair and Huron Lakes; however, as a river, it flows southwards from Lake Huron’s southern part to Lake St. Clair’s northern part. As it enters Lake Clair, it branches out to form several channels creating what is known as a delta at its mouth. The delta region is called St Clair Flats. Throughout the 18th century, the river was an important route for the French who traveled to trade with the Native Americans as well as getting merchandise to French and British posts.
Shipwrecks in Lake Huron
More than 1000 shipwrecks have occurred on Lake Huron in the recent past, and today tourists can visit some of the bays on the lake to see these wrecks. Thunder Bay on Lake Huron is home to a marine sanctuary and underwater preserves opened in 2000. It offers trips around Lake Huron on glass bottom boats where tourists can view some of the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred on the lake. The Saginaw Bay is the site where Matoa, a freighter built in 1890, was wrecked in 1913. Georgina Bay is the largest bay on Lake Huron and contains over 200 of the more than 1000 shipwrecks on the lake.
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