Which State Has the Most Shoreline Including Lakes

Which State Has the Most Shoreline Including Lakes?

When it comes to states with the most shoreline, including lakes, it may come as a surprise that Michigan takes the crown. Known as the Great Lakes State, Michigan boasts an impressive 3,288 miles of shoreline, more than any other state in the United States. Its strategic location between four of the five Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie – contributes significantly to Michigan’s extensive coastline. This article will delve into the reasons behind Michigan’s vast shoreline and explore other states with significant lakefronts. Additionally, a FAQs section will address common queries related to this topic.

Michigan’s Great Lakes coastline is a result of its geographical location and unique land formations. The state is divided into two peninsulas, the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, which are surrounded by water on three sides. The Upper Peninsula is bordered by Lake Superior to the north, while the Lower Peninsula is flanked by three of the Great Lakes – Michigan, Huron, and Erie. This placement gives Michigan an abundant amount of freshwater coastline.

The Great Lakes themselves are also responsible for Michigan’s remarkable shoreline. These massive bodies of water contain a combined total of over 10,000 miles of shoreline. With Michigan’s peninsulas jutting into the lakes, the state has access to an extensive amount of beachfront property. Additionally, the Great Lakes are known for their beautiful sandy beaches, attracting tourists and locals alike.

Apart from the Great Lakes, Michigan is home to numerous inland lakes, contributing to its impressive shoreline. The state boasts over 11,000 inland lakes, including popular ones like Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, and Torch Lake. These lakes, along with smaller ones scattered throughout the state, add roughly 38,575 square miles of shoreline to Michigan’s total count.

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While Michigan holds the top spot, other states also have significant shorelines due to their numerous lakes. Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is known for its abundant freshwater resources. The state has approximately 90,000 miles of shoreline, including lakes such as Lake Superior, Lake of the Woods, and the Mississippi River. Minnesota’s extensive shoreline contributes to its reputation as a premier destination for fishing, boating, and other water-related activities.

Wisconsin, another state with a considerable lakefront, is famous for its picturesque Door County, which extends into Lake Michigan. With over 15,000 lakes and over 1,000 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, Wisconsin offers residents and visitors ample opportunities to enjoy recreational water activities.

Florida, despite being known for its stunning coastal beaches, also has a significant amount of lake shoreline. The state is home to numerous freshwater lakes, including Lake Okeechobee, the largest lake in Florida. While Florida’s coastline is primarily associated with its oceanfront properties, its inland lakes contribute to a total shoreline of approximately 8,436 miles.

Lastly, Alaska, often recognized for its vast wilderness, also boasts a substantial amount of lakefront. With over 3 million lakes, the state’s shoreline reaches an estimated 34,000 miles. These lakes, which vary in size and are scattered throughout Alaska’s expansive terrain, contribute to its abundant shoreline.


Q: Does Michigan have the longest coastline in the United States?
A: While Michigan has the most shoreline when including lakes, Alaska holds the record for the longest coastline in the United States, stretching over 6,600 miles.

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Q: Are the Great Lakes freshwater or saltwater?
A: The Great Lakes are freshwater lakes, containing about 21% of the world’s surface freshwater.

Q: Which lake has the most shoreline in Michigan?
A: Lake Huron has the longest coastline of all the Great Lakes in Michigan, followed by Lake Michigan.

Q: Are there any ocean coastlines in Michigan?
A: Michigan does not have an ocean coastline. Its shores are solely comprised of freshwater lakes and rivers.

Q: What are the most popular activities to do on Michigan’s shoreline?
A: Michigan’s shoreline offers a wide range of recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, beachcombing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

In conclusion, Michigan holds the title for the state with the most shoreline, including lakes. Its strategic location between four of the Great Lakes and its abundance of inland lakes contribute to its remarkable 3,288 miles of shoreline. Other states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, and Alaska also boast significant lakefronts, adding to the diverse landscapes and recreational opportunities across the United States.