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The 10 Best Freshwater Lakes to Swim In
Looking for a good way to cool off this summer? Try jumping in a freshwater lake.
Many freshwater lakes have clear, pristine waters, largely because they lack the nutrients that are gobbled up by algae. And these teensy plantlike organisms called protists can multiply fast, turning a body of water from glassy to murky.
Healthy freshwater lakes often support small fish and are usually surrounded by trees and vegetation that help prevent erosion. That makes freshwater lakes the perfect place to have a picnic, relax or dive into for a swim. Here are 10 recommendations of freshwater lakes in the United States, but feel free to add more in the comments section if you don't see your favorite freshwater lake in the countdown.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National LakeshoreSlide 2 of 21
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Located on the Michigan coast, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a beautiful getaway within Lake Michigan. Visitors often rent houses and go hiking along the dunes or gaze out at the shipwrecks in the crystal-clear water from a viewpoint on South Manitou Island.
Swimming is also a must during the hot summer months.
Click "Next" to learn about Lake Tahoe . . .Slide 3 of 21
Lake TahoeSlide 4 of 21
At 1,645 feet (501 meters) deep, Lake Tahoe is the second deepest lake within the United States and the 10th deepest in the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
"I would find nothing more pleasurable than swimming in the sparkling clear water of Sand Harbor at Lake Tahoe while gazing up at snow-covered Mount Tallac at nearly 10,000 feet [3,048 m]," said Geoff Schladow, director of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at the University of California, Davis. [A Buyer's Guide for the Adventure Junky]
Vacation seekers will find Lake Tahoe along the California and Nevada boarder. It's about 22 miles by 12 miles (35 by 19 kilometers) large, and its surface elevation is about 6,225 feet (1,897 m), making it the highest lake of its size in the United States, the USGS reported.
The water is about 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (36 to 42 degrees Celsius), during August and September, the USGS said.
Next: Tettegouche State ParkSlide 5 of 21
Tettegouche State ParkSlide 6 of 21
Tettegouche State Park
Explore Lake Superior from Tettegouche State Park in Minnesota. Visitors can hike its scenic trails, go rock climbing, try bird-watching and, of course, swim. If the North Shore's waters are too cold for a quick dunk, check out the 60-foot-tall (18 m) High Falls waterfall and warmer waters of the nearby Baptism River (shown here) on the North Shore of Lake Superior.
Next: Emerald LakeSlide 7 of 21
Emerald LakeSlide 8 of 21