Learning About Lake Champlain

11_3_14Student Response (Lower)

11_3_14Student Response (Upper)

 

Dave and I are now paddling our canoe on Lake Champlain. I am happy to report that we are back in the United States too! Lake Champlain is a very big and interesting lake. Did you know that it is the sixth largest lake in the United States?

We paddled from the Richelieu River into Lake Champlain and crossed the U.S./Canadian border. We paddled under several large bridges and we saw a much larger expanse of water in front of us. We pulled over and checked in with U.S. customs. The sun was setting by the time we were ready to paddle again. The forecast called for calm wind during the night, but the wind would pick up in the morning. We decided to paddle for several hours into the night. We could see well enough from streetlights and houses that were lit up along shore. We paddled for about 20 miles before we stopped to camp.

 

The sun set as we paddled in the northern part of Lake Champlain.
The sun set as we paddled in the northern part of Lake Champlain.

The next morning, we woke up to really see Lake Champlain for the first time. Mountains lined either side of the lake. Yellow leaves remained on some of the trees. We launched our canoe on the rocky shore and paddled past shale cliffs. We could look down into the clear water to see the rock below. We followed the Vermont shore down to the town of Burlington.

We were happy to wake up to see a calm lake.
We were happy to wake up to see a calm lake.

 

You can find Lake Champlain between the states of Vermont and New York, with the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. The lake holds about 6.8 trillion gallons of water. It is about 120 miles long.

During the last Ice Age this area was under ice that was about one mile thick. This lasted until about 12,000 years ago. After the ice melted, a huge lake formed. The water was about 500 feet higher than it is today. Water came in from the Atlantic Ocean and formed the Champlain Sea. Eventually the rock rose—rebounding from being weighed down by the glaciers. This brought the lake above sea level and the saltwater flushed out of the lake, leaving the Lake Champlain that we know today.

We had great weather on the day we left Burlington, VT.
We had great weather on the day we left Burlington, VT.

 

The wind picked up and the waves became too rough for us to paddle on the lake. Over the past few days we have done a mixture of portaging, paddling and waiting. Today, the wind was blowing over 30 miles per hour. The waves were three feet tall. We are hoping for calmer wind tomorrow.

Resources:

http://www.lakechamplaincommittee.org/learn/natural-history-lake-champlain/

http://www.lclt.org/about-lake-champlain/lake-champlain-facts/

http://www.lcmm.org/education/educator_resources.htm

10 thoughts on “Learning About Lake Champlain”

    1. It would have been scary to be out on the lake in a canoe, but it was beautiful watching the waves crash onto shore from the beach. It was way too windy to be canoeing yesterday. When the weather is like that we wait on shore until the wind calms down.

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