The sixth largest body of water in the United States, Lake Champlain is located near the Canadian border, between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York. It is located on the Richelieu river, and is fed by the Otter Creek, Winoosky, Missisquoi and Lamoille rivers.
Although it cannot be compared with Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior or Michigan, Lake Champlain is an extremely large body of freshwater. Approximately 1130 km2 (435 square miles) in area, the lake is roughly 180 km (110 miles) long, and 19 km (12 miles) across at its widest point. It contains roughly 80 islands.
Lake Champlain briefly become the nation's sixth Great Lake on March 6th, 1998, when President Clinton signed Senate Bill 927. This bill, which reauthorized the Sea Grant Program, contained an line penned by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) declaring Lake Champlain to be a Great Lake. Not coincidentally, this status allows neighboring states to apply for additional federal research and education funds allocated to these nation resources. Following a small uproar (and several New York Times articles), the Great Lake status was rescinded (although Vermont universities continue to receive funds to monitor and study the lake.)
One of the more enduring myths surrounding Lake Champlain is that of Champie (or Champ). Reminiscent of the Loch Ness monster, Champie is purportedly a giant aquatic animal that makes the lake its home. Sightings have been few and far between (and come from sources of questionable veracity). Regardless, locals and tourists have developed something of a fondness for the creature and its legend.