25 Largest Lakes in the US

·8 min read

Today we are going to take a look at the 25 largest lakes in the US. Click to skip our introduction and methodology and jump to the top 10 largest lakes in the US.

Do you like water-related activities? Do you love wiggling in a small boat in the middle of the water? Do you also enjoy when water drops roll along your face while swimming? If so, you will surely like this compilation of the biggest lakes across the United States. As for me, my absolutely favorite activities are all related to water. In other words, I love everything related to water, swimming, boating, diving, rowing, or just lying on the shore and letting water hugging and cradling my body. I love water in its every state of matter, even ice and snow. I adore all natural waters, from the smallest streamlet to the oceans. According to the famous, Ancient Greek philosopher, Empedocles, water is one of the four classical elements, alongside earth, air and fire, and these form the substance of universe.

Pixabay/ Public Domain

At first, let's make clear what is the definition of a lake. Basically, it's a basin filled with water and surrounded by land, being fed by rivers and brooks. Located on land, they are not part of any oceans and seas, and they are differs from lagoons. There are several types of lakes, such as freshwater lakes, meteorite lakes, fluvial lakes and artificial lakes, just to name a few. Artificial lakes are generally built for agricultural and industrial or recreational use, among others. In this compilation you will find man-made lakes that were created for hydro-electric power generation, but actually they are tourist attractions, too. The top five lakes in our article form The Great Lakes of North America - Superior, Michigan, Huron, Eirie and Ontario Lakes. According to Visual Capitalist, The Great Lakes are the economic growth engine of the United States. Incredible, but true fact if this region were its own country, it would mean the third-largest economy across the globe with its amazing GDP of $6 trillion. The region is involved in agriculture, automotive and space industry, manufacturing industries among others. The region also produces billions of dollars valued of minerals year by year. As we have written earlier in our article of 15 largest iron ore producing countries in the world, the United States is among these countries due to the mines in Minnesota. Pennsylvania is the largest producer of met coal, which important for manufacturing steel. Food and agriculture industries of the region are also surpassingly significant, as you can see in top 10 largest agricultural companies in the US by revenue, such as Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE:FDP), CF Industries Holding (NYSE:CF) and The Mosaic Company (NYSE:MOS), just to name a few.

In order to create the list of the largest lakes in the US, we consulted the National Atlas of the US, and ranked the lakes by surface area. You will see man-made reservoirs also in the compilation, because all of them have significant role for several industries, such as energy, tourism and catering. In this article you can take delight in the magic water surface, and perhaps you can find the new destinations of your next travels. If you liked this article, we also recommend you to read 50 most forested cities in US.

And now, without a further ado, let's see what are largest lakes in the US, starting with 25:

25. Kentucky Lake

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Kentucky-Tennessee

Area: 250 sq mi/647 km2

Type: man-made

Kentucky Lake is a large passable reservoir along the Tennessee River. It was created as early as in 1944 by Tennessee Valley Authority. It supplies a source for hydro-electric power, and it's popular tourist attraction and angler-paradise, as there can be found three species of fish ever taken in Kentucky: Buffalo carp, yellow perch and white bass.

Pixabay/Public domain

24. Lake Powell

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Arizona-Utah

Area: 251 sq mi/650 km2

Type: man-made

It's a reservoir on the Colorado River in Arizona and Utah, and is a popular tourist and holiday spot visited more than two million people year by year. It was named after John Wesley Powell, who was a one-armed explorer and Civil War veteran.

Pixabay/ Public Domain

23. Toledo Bend Reservoir

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Louisiana-Texas

Area: 284 sq mi/736 km2

Type: man-made

It's also a man-made reservoir between Louisiana and Texas. Actually, the dam can provide 92 megawatts of electrical power, and has an area of 185,000 acres/749 km².

Longtan Dam
Longtan Dam

Pixabay/Public Domain

22. Devils Lake

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: North Dakota

Area: 300 sq mi/777 km2

Type: natural

Up on our list of the largest lakes in the United States, Devils Lake stands on the 22nd spot. Devils Lake is the second biggest lake in North Dakota, flowing into the Sheyenne River.

Pixabay/Public domain

21. Teshekpuk Lake

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Alaska

Area: 320 sq mi/829 km2

Type: natural

It's the biggest lake in the Arctic Alaska, and the lake holds several fish species, such as Arctic grayling, broad whitefish, lake trout, Dolly Varden, Chinook Salmon and Chum salmon, among others. Tourists and habitants can admire the wide range of wildlife, such as the Teshekpuk Lake Caribou Herd (64,000 animals).

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IZZ HAZEL/Shutterstock.com

20. Rainy Lake

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Minnesota-Ontario

Area: 345 sq mi/894 km2

Type: natural

Rainy River and Rainy Lake are the boundary between Canada and the United States. Rainy Lake is among the huge lake system in the United States, that spreads from Lake Superior to Arctic Ocean.

martinho Smart/Shutterstock.com

19. Salton Sea

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: California

Area: 347 sq mi/899 km2

Type: man-made

Actually, the Salton Sea is pretty shallow, with a maximum depth of 5 ft/1.5 m at the deepest point. Its primary sources are Alamo and Whitewater Rivers with agricultural runoff.

Pixabay/Public Domain

18. Fort Peck Lake

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Montana

Area: 393 sq mi/1,018 km2

Type: man-made

Fort Peck Lake is another man-made one, is the main reservoir in Montana. It was built in the 1930s so that there would be a navigation channel from Sioux City, Iowa to the Missouri. It's also a popular tourist attraction with several parks and recreational sites around the lake.

Pixabay/Public Domain

17. Selawik Lake

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Alaska

Area: 404 sq mi/1,046 km2

Type: natural

Selawik Lake stands on the 17th spot on the compilation of the largest lakes across America. It's the third biggest lake in Alaska, after Iliamna Lake and Becharof lake, and is worth visiting it.

16. Red Lake

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Minnesota

Area: 427 sq mi/1,106 km2

Type: natural

It's the biggest natural freshwater lake in Minnesota, and 16th in America. The lower part of the lake belongs to the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

John McCormick/Shutterstock.com

15. Lake St. Clair

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Michigan-Ontario

Area: 440 sq mi/1,140 km2

Type: natural

It's amazing freshwater lake between Michigan and Ontario. It was names after Saint Clare of Assisi by French Catholic explorers. As a matter of fact it's part of the Great Lakes system, which means several economical advantage for this region.

14. Becharof Lake

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Alaska

Area: 453 sq mi/1,173 km2

Type: natural

Becharof lake is a magic natural lake on the Alaska Peninsula. After Iliamna Lake, it's the second-largest one in Alaska. It was named after a Russian navigator, Dmitry Bocharov who explored at Kodiak, Alaska, in 1788.

13. Lake Champlain

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: New York -Vermont- Quebec

Area: 490 sq mi/1,269 km2

Type: natural

Lake Champlain is a freshwater lake bordered by two states, New York and Vermont, and a Quebec in Canada. The amazing Adirondack Park can be found here with lots of recreational facilities. The Quebec portion includes several beautiful islands in the lake, such as Isle La Motte North Hero and Grand Isle.

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Sopotnicki/Shutterstock.com

12. Lake Sakakawea

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: North-Dakota

Area: 520 sq mi/1,347 km2

Type: man-made

It's a popular recreational spot for camping, boating, hiking, fishing and other outdoor activities. There are parks, recreation areas around the lake with rich wildlife, managed by several organizations and agencies, such as North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Corps of Engineers, and the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

11. Lake Pontchartrain

US States/Canadian Provinces/Mexican States: Louisiana

Area: 631 sq mi/1,634 km2

Type: natural

The average depth of Lake Pontchartrain is between at 12 and 14 ft/3.7 and 4.3 m, but there are also shipping channels as well, due to dredging. It's broadly oval shaped, around 40 miles/60 km wide and 24 miles/39 km long. The world-wide famous Lake Pontchartrain Causeway crosses the lake which is the longest continuous bridge over water across the globe.

Please continue to see the 10 biggest lakes in the US.

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Disclosure: No positions. 25 largest lakes in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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