Lake Champlain is a natural freshwater lake in North America along the borders of New York and Vermont and partially across the United States-Canada border in the province of Quebec. The lake was named for the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who discovered it in 1609.
Lake Champlain near Burlington during sunset
|Location||New York / Vermont in USA; and Quebec in Canada|
|Primary inflows||Otter Creek, Winooski River, Missisquoi River, Poultney River, Lamoille River, Ausable River, Chazy River, Boquet River, Saranac River, La Chute River|
|Primary outflows||Richelieu River|
|Catchment area||8,234 sq mi (21,326 km2)|
|Basin countries||Canada, United States|
|Max. length||125 mi (201 km)|
|Max. width||14 mi (23 km)|
|Surface area||490 sq mi (1,269 km2)|
|Average depth||64 ft (19.5 m)|
|Max. depth||400 ft (122 m)|
|Water volume||6.2 cu mi (25.8 km3)|
|Residence time||3.3 years|
|Shore length1||587 mi (945 km)|
|Surface elevation||95 to 100 ft (29 to 30 m)|
|Islands||80 (Grand Isle, North Hero, Isle La Motte, see list)|
|Settlements||Burlington, Vermont; Plattsburgh, New York|
|1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.|
A region of large freshwater lakesEdit
Lake Champlain is one of a large number of large lakes spread in an arc from Labrador through the northern United States and into the Northwest Territories of Canada. Although it is much smaller than the Great Lakes of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, or Michigan, Lake Champlain is a large body of fresh water. The lake is about 490 square miles (1,269 km2) in area. It is about 125 miles (201 km) long. At its widest point, it is about 14 miles (23 km) wide. The maximum depth is about 400 feet (120 m). It contains about 80 islands, including an the entire country of Grand Isle County in Vermont.
Colonial America and the Revolutionary WarEdit
In the colonial times, Lake Champlain gave an easily blocked water (or, in winter, ice) passage between the Saint Lawrence and the Hudson Valleys. Boats and sledges were usually preferable to the unpaved and frequently mud-bound roads of the time. The northern tip of the lake at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec (St. John in colonial times) is a short distance from Montreal. The southern tip at Whitehall (Skenesborough in colonial times) is a short distance from Saratoga, Glens Falls, and Albany, New York.
Forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point (Fort St. Frederic) controlled passage of the lake in colonial times. Important battles were fought at Ticonderoga in 1758 and 1777. A important naval battle was fought in 1776 at Valcour Island: in the Battle of Valcour Island, Benedict Arnold delayed British ships enough to prevent the fall of these forts until the following year, allowing the Continental Army to grow stronger and allowing the later victory at Saratoga.
Media related to Lake Champlain at Wikimedia Commons