Textbooks can provide students with extensive knowledge of science and nature. However, nothing compares to the education outside the classroom’s normal confines to plan a student trip to the Great Lakes region.
The Great Lakes region is one of North America’s most diverse and beautiful areas. The five Great Lakes that make up this region are the largest supply of fresh water on Earth, and they provide a home for millions of people and many species of fish and wildlife. The region also has a rich culture and history that students can learn about during a field trip to the area. Plus, there are many fun activities to do while visiting here!
Exploring Great Lake islands, national forests, and Michigan State Parks provide students with hands-on, real-life lessons to apply in their daily lives. Great Lakes region destinations feature incredible habitats and exceptional scenic locations that allow you to enjoy nature and relax after a busy semester at school or college.
This brief article will examine why you should visit the Great Lakes region. Also, we will list the best Great Lakes vacation spots.
What is the Great Lakes Region?
The five Great Lakes make up the world’s largest freshwater supply. The lakes are shared by the United States and Canada, which means there are endless opportunities for field trips that go beyond learning about their geography and history. Lake Superior is the largest lake in the world by surface area, but all of these lakes have fascinating stories to tell—like how they formed thousands of years ago when glaciers carved out the lakes you see today from an ancient seabed formed millions of years ago.
The Great Lakes region has been home to many diverse groups of people over time. One way to explore local history is by visiting museums like Mackinac Island’s Fort Mackinac or St. Ignace’s Straits Area Historical Museum. You can also visit areas where people lived or worked during different eras, such as Old Mission Point Lighthouse (Straits Area Historical Museum) or Tahquamenon Falls State Park Museum (Tahquamenon Falls State Park).
Name The Countries & States that border the Great Lakes region
The Great Lakes region includes the Canadian province of Ontario and parts of five other American states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. This beautiful area has a rich culture and history that students would be wise to explore.
The Great Lakes region is known for excellent fishing, sailing, and tourism. It’s also home to the world-famous Niagara Falls, which has been named the top honeymoon destination in North America by TripAdvisor for four years (2017). The Falls offer unparalleled views of American and Canadian landscapes in one location—and they’re sure to leave any student feeling awestruck!
Whether it’s recreation or agriculture (or both), there’s much to offer students about ecology around here, including plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning about this valuable resource!
Why Students Should Visit the Great Lakes Region
The Great Lakes Region is comprised of Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. This Upper Midwest is known for its abundant wildlife, farmland, and fishing industry. Students who visit the region will have the opportunity to participate in various recreational activities. Many students find waterfalls, and enjoy hiking through local state parks and forests, which offer beautiful views of nature and wildlife. Others choose to relax on the shores of lakes where they can go swimming or boating with friends. Here are four reasons you may not have thought about when planning a visit to the Great Lakes region.
The Great Lakes Offer Tranquility
A student’s life entails many activities, including continuous classes and many assignments. They rarely get enough time to spend with friends and family or focus on self-improvement. But visiting the Great Lakes allows them to escape their busy life, even if it’s for a day. For example, college students near Chicago are only an hour’s drive from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore or the quant beachside town of Saugatuck, Michigan.
Lakes’ quietness and peaceful nature can help you unwind and recharge your batteries. But before embarking on the trip, ensure you’ve done your homework. You don’t want the thought of help me write my essay to cross your mind during the trip. But in case you don’t have enough time on hand to write your essay, then a professional essay writing service can help you out even at the last moment.
The advantage of such services is that you will receive a quality essay paper, irrespective of the subject. Also, you will submit your paper before the deadline and have enough time to enjoy the peace offered by nature.
Become One with Nature and Themselves
The rustic areas of several Great Lakes spots, such as the Isle Royale National Park, will challenge your physical abilities while teaching you how to work and support your peers. Some lakes are close to state park forests or attractions with giant zip lines and confidence course rope swings designed within the natural landscape. As a result, students can better interact with nature.
Lots of Opportunities for Big City & Outdoor Adventure
The Great Lakes region is within a day’s drive of many major American cities. This makes it an affordable destination for students and teachers who want to take a trip without flying overseas. Students will have plenty of opportunities for exploration, as the region has something for everyone, whether you’re interested in history, sports, or nature.
If your school plans a field trip, consider combining it with another destination nearby. See Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. See a Cubs baseball game in Chicago. See how cars and trucks are made in Detroit. Tour a brewery in Milwaukee or see massive freighters in Duluth. You could even spend two days on an educational excursion to see both countries!
Some Great Lake vacation spots provide students numerous ways to get outside and enjoy nature. Most have plenty of options for watersports, such as canoeing, kayaking, rowing, open swimming, and windsurfing. Explore the waterfalls on Minnesota’s North Shore, Take a dune buggy ride at Michigan’s Warren Dunes State Park, or ride all the roller coasters at Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park on the shores of Lake Erie.
Become Experts In Great Lake Ecology, Weather, and Climate Change
The Great Lakes region is located in North America and includes the five largest lakes in the world: Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. The area has the largest supply of fresh water on Earth. Students can take advantage of this fact by traveling with their class to one of many cities along the shoreline to learn how people use that clean water for drinking, swimming, and other purposes.
It’s worth noting that the Great Lakes may be an oasis of sorts, even considering the effects of climate change. The vast lakes are insulators, keeping the region cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The trade-off for this moderate weather is intense lake effect snow and cloud cover much of the winter months into early spring.
In many state parks in Michigan, rangers, and instructors can teach students about the lake they’ve visited. You can learn about the history of the lakes, their ecology, and the species of animals available. You can always participate in various activities like testing water clarity, measuring water PH and temperature, and catching zooplankton.
Great Lakes Destinations Students Should Visit
The Great Lakes region offers a lot of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and historic sites. Many people associate this area with large cities like Chicago and Detroit, but there are so many other places that students should visit while they’re in the area.
Lake Ontario is an excellent lake between the Canada/ United States border. Visiting the Lake will allow students to learn about its high biodiversity. The lake features a variety of fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and other unique species. Also, students can visit the various islands on the lake, including Wolfe Island and Toronto Islands. Lake Ontario is the end of the Great Lakes basin as to dumps into the Saint Lawrence River to the Atlantic. A student can also dive into the lake and take a few pictures before packing up and heading back to school or home on the east coast.
Explore the Toronto Metropolis Overlooking Lake Ontario
Toronto is a great place to visit in the Canadian provinces. It’s home to many attractions, including the CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. You can also enjoy various food in Toronto, from sushi to authentic Italian cuisine. If you’re looking for something fun to do on your trip, make sure that you go exploring!
There are many different things in Toronto: museums, parks, green spaces, hotels, and restaurants. Here are some examples:
- The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has over 5 million artifacts from around the world on display in its galleries.
- Casa Loma offers tours through its opulent castle estate located in North York.
- Scarborough Bluffs Park features spectacular views of Lake Ontario.
Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes. It was named after the Native American tribe that lived along its shores, including western New York. The lake is home to many islands, including Put-in-Bay, Kelleys Island and South Bass Island. These are popular destinations for boating and fishing enthusiasts because they offer access to shallow waters and plenty of fish!
It’s famous for being the warmest and most biologically productive great lake. In addition, the lake is home to the largest freshwater fisheries globally. Since it’s a shallow lake with a depth of 62m, students can easily swim in it during summer. The lake is also a favorite destination for divers since there are many shipwrecks.
Lake Erie also provides opportunities for other activities such as hiking through trails like Seashore Hiking Trail or biking along country roads—whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride or something more challenging!
Cleveland on the Shores of Lake Erie
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the most popular attractions in Cleveland, but there are plenty of other places for students to explore as well:
The Cleveland Museum of Art is a museum that houses over 40,000 works. It has an extensive collection and has been recognized by the American Alliance of Museums as one of the best art museums in North America.
The Cleveland Botanical Garden is another great place to go if you want some time outdoors; it has 20 acres worth of different flowers and plants!
If you’re looking for something more interactive, check out the Cleveland Museum of Natural History! This museum hosts over 80 million years’ worth of natural history artifacts and specimens, including dinosaur bones (which are very cool).
Finally, who doesn’t love animals? If your answer is “no one,” you should check out Cleveland Metroparks Zoo!
Lake Michigan is the second-largest Great Lake in North America regarding water volume. As a result, it’s a beautiful destination for students.
Lake Michigan is also the only one contained entirely within the United States. It’s 580 miles long and has an average width of 80 miles, making it roughly half as wide as Lake Huron and smaller in area than Lake Superior. Surrounded by the U.S. states, the largest city on Lake Michigan is Chicago, Illinois; other cities along its shores include Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin; Grand Rapids and Holland, Michigan; Benton Harbor/St Josephs/Mackinaw City (known for Mackinac Island), Streator and Waukegan in Illinois.
Besides swimming in the lake, students can try to stand up paddleboarding while touring Lake Michigan’s beautiful beaches. Also, they can go on a boat tour around the lake and learn about the city’s most famous architectural landmarks.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
South Manitou Lighthouse was built in 1870 and is now a National Historic Landmark. The 100-foot lighthouse tower was active from 1871 to 1958.
Take a kayak tour of Platte Bay, located south of the town of Empire, where you can see the iconic dunes up close while listening to your guide explain the area’s natural history. If you are lucky, you may spot a bald eagle and its nest along the shore.
Pro-tip on a local level try to explore these areas before 10 am or after 4 pm when there are fewer crowds, lower temperatures, and better parking spots.
- Dune Climb
- Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive
- Philip A. Hart Visitor Center
- Empire Bluff Trail
- Pyramid Point Trail
Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and is the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area. Its water level is somewhat controlled by using Canadian hydropower dams located in the north and the Soo Locks near Saute St. Marie.
Lake Superior is 3rd deepest lake in the world, reaching depths of 1,332. If you consider it an ocean instead of a lake, its volume would be 50 times greater than all five Great Lakes combined!
The water flowing into Lake Superior provides fresh drinking water for millions of people living around two of the Great Lakes States and Canada —including Duluth, Minnesota; Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie in Ontario; Marquette and Munising on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
North Shore Waterfalls
The North Shore is a great place to hike and explore. It’s also a beautiful place to go in any season, especially in summer. The stunning waterfalls provide a cooling-off opportunity in the hot weather.
You can swim in some more minor falls or kayak through them in the summer months if you want to get up close without getting wet!
Pro Travel Tips on the Great Lakes
That said, here is a list of a few tips to consider to have the best experience when traveling and planning a trip to one of the Great Lakes:
- Look before you leap into the water. It may be shallow.
- Monitor the weather on the NOAA gov website. Especially if you are out on the Great Lakes kayaking.
- Carry a waterproof camera and cell phone.
- Inform someone where you’re going, especially if you’re going off-road in a Jeep.
- Carry extra money for emergencies or a host of other uses.
- Pack all the essentials in your vehicle in a dry bag, including a blanket. It can get cold around the lakes.
Final Thoughts on Student Travel to the Great Lakes Region
The best part about a field trip to the Great Lakes region? It was inexpensive! Students can enjoy learning more about this fascinating place without breaking their budgets or their parents’ hearts!
If you’re looking for a trip that will give your students a real taste of the world, visiting the Great Lakes region is a perfect choice. Students can learn about history, social science, culture, and ecology while enjoying excellent recreation opportunities!
Great Lake’s destination brings classroom lessons into the real world. There are many things students can learn from nature that can hugely impact how they go on with their daily lives. Great Lakes offers students a new way to look at what’s around them and helps them interact with science and nature in a way they never thought possible. Besides that, they get to have fun.