10 Fascinating Facts About Lake Superior

View of Lake Superior at sunset: facts about Lake SuperiorYou probably already know that Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes, but there are several fascinating facts about Lake Superior you may not know about. Today, Old Rittenhouse Inn will share some of our favorite facts about this magnificent body of water, located just blocks from our Bayfield bed and breakfast!

Facts About Lake Superior


  1. Lake Superior was formed by glacial activity during the last Ice Age, and its shores are surrounded by some of the oldest rock formations on Earth. 
  2. Lake Superior is the largest Great Lake and the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. The lake covers 31,700 square miles, bordered by Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario. 
  3. Lake Superior contains 10% of the planet’s freshwater and more water than all the other Great Lakes combined! 
  4. The lake provides drinking water for over 35 million people!
  5. The lake is home to diverse wildlife in and around the water, including over 80 species of freshwater fish, black bears, white-tailed deer, beavers, bald eagles, and much more.
  6. Lake Superior rarely freezes over entirely since parts of the lake are over 1,000 feet deep. The last time it completely froze was in February 1994.
  7. The lake is the resting place for over 350 shipwrecks, with many still undiscovered. The most famous of these wrecks is the Edmund Fitzgerald
  8. The Ojibwe name for Lake Superior is Gichigami, meaning “a great lake.” Learn more about the Ojibwe names of the Apostle Islands here
  9. Lake Superior is home to over 400 islands, including the Apostle Islands, an archipelago of 21 islands easily accessible from Bayfield. These islands were formed more than 600 million years ago by remnants of sedimentary rocks deposited in the lake. 
  10. The area is famous for Lake Superior agates, beautiful rocks that took millions of years to form!

Stay at Our Wisconsin Inn near Lake Superior

Now that you know some more facts about Lake Superior, it’s time to plan your visit to Bayfield! Stay with Old Rittenhouse Inn and enjoy views of Lake Superior from our cozy lakefront accommodations. Whether you want to sail Lake Superior or learn about the history of the lake with Apostle Island Cruises, we have an experience for everyone!