Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes
of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. The other four Great Lakes
are shared by the US and Canada. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes
by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior
and Lake Huron
. Hydrologically, the lake is a large bay of Lake Michigan-Huron, having the same surface elevation as Lake Huron
(among other shared properties). It is bounded, from west to east, by the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. The word "Michigan" originally referred to the lake itself, and is believed to come from the Ojibwa word mishigami meaning "great water".
It is site of the annual 2.5 km and 5 km Big Shoulders race in September and the professional marathon swims of the early 1960's where swimmers like Ted Erikson and Greta Andersen competed against the world's best swimmers. It is also the site of Jamie Patrick's 90-mile solo crossing called The Great Lake Swim from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Chicago, Illinois in August 2014.