She was formed years ago by the movement of glaciers through the area. Proof of this monumental event is still apparent and can be seen at the glacial grooves site on Kelley’s Island.
She is the southernmost, smallest and shallowest of the five Great Lakes. Her south shore mostly borders Ohio but also has shoreline in Pennsylvania and New York. The north shore borders Canada. Because of her shallow depth she is also the warmest of the Great Lakes.
Lake Erie is divided into three distinct basins, the western, central and eastern basin. The western basin is the shallowest with an average depth of thirty feet, the central average depth is eighty feet and the eastern is one hundred twenty feet.
Lake Erie is a gem: she is home to the wonderful Lake Erie Islands, Ohio’s playground. She supports recreational and commercial fishing, and you won’t find a better tasting fish than Lake Erie Perch! She also supports commercial freighter traffic, traveling in from foreign ports. Our lake has countless distinctive lighthouses and sandy beaches. In addition there are hundreds of ship wrecks below the surface for sport scuba divers to explore. She is a source of enjoyment for jet skiers, water skiers, tubers and sailors.
Her shores also boast numerous vineyards due to the rich soil.
She is also supposedly home to the “Lake Erie Monster,” a mystical creature possibly related to the Loch Ness Monster.
But don’t let her fool you, she can be as mean and wicked as they come. Because of her shallow depth’s storms arise quickly, going mill pond like to ferocious waves virtually before your eyes. At times waves are large enough for the brave to surf on!!!
As a weather maker she controls our temperatures, keeping her nearby shores frost free until late in the fall season. In summer the breezes from her waters keep the shoreline cooler than the inland areas. Temperatures seem to be related to mileage; each mile away from her shore often represents a degree, either plus or minus depending on the season. So far this season she is keeping us warm and frost free.
Snow fall levels are generally controlled by Lake Erie too. Since the shallower western basin freezes first the eastern side picks up more moisture from the open water and consequently gets a larger snow fall total. (I am real glad I live in the central basin area.)
Lake Erie is special and the “old girl” represents home to many of us, regardless of where we may roam.