Recreation

The Great Lakes are the home to a wide range of recreation -- from sailboat and powerboat races to fishing tournaments. They're also a draw for tourists who travel to distinctive communities such as Mackinac Island.

Ways to Connect

(Left) Jason Wulf and Erik Bernardi owners of Lake Effect Artisan Ice Cream in Lockport

What’s in a name? Turns out, a whole lot.

It’s how Buffalo's Lake Effect Furies stand out from the crowd.

At first the group was called the “Queen City Roller Girls All Star Team.”

"But that didn’t have a lot of personality to it," said Michael Thomas, one of two team captains.


Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department / Ice rescue practice

First of two parts

Snowmobiling is a popular sport on New Hampshire’s Lake Potanipo. Riders like the wide open spaces. It isn’t unusual to see them set up makeshift roads and racetracks and zoom around the ice.

Snowmobile enthusiast Chris DeJoy says it’s all good fun, but you have use caution. ​“I think a lot of people jump on a snowmobile don’t realize how dangerous it can be."

This winter the lakes have been especially dangerous.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Second of two parts

Unstable ice has been a factor in the deaths of more than 30 people across the northeast and Great Lakes region this winter. One of those tragedies took place last month on Conesus Lake, N.Y. 


The bi-national group that helps regulate the Great Lakes is touring to hear residents' concerns. The International Joint Commission tour comes as President Trump's budget plans surface -- including a proposal to slash funds for reviving the lakes.

So if you want to be heard, save a tour date.

As February -- and winter -- come to a close, the Great Lakes are virtually ice-free.

Less than 5 percent of the lakes' surface is covered by ice, according to the latest data from the NOAA -- Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. By comparison, 8 percent was covered at this time last year. And in 2015, 87 percent was covered.

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