This New York Lake Was Just Named the Cleanest in the U.S.

Lake George ranked among the cleanest in the U.S.

<p>Jerry Trudell the Skys the Limit/Getty Images</p>

Jerry Trudell the Skys the Limit/Getty Images

Of the 479,950 lakes in the lower 48 states (and additional 3 million in Alaska), there are lakes large and small, clean and not-so-clean. In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that almost 20 percent of the 50,000 lakes they surveyed had been impacted by chemical fertilizer runoff. As a result, many lakes are taken over by harmful algae blooms and accumulate muck on the bottom. Foul smells and declining fish populations ensue.

Then there are those few, pristine bodies of water that remain clean and crystal clear. The cleanest among them, according to a new study by A-Z Animals, is Lake George in the Adirondacks. The New York lake is fed by mountain streams and sits close to its source, two factors that keep it from being polluted. In addition, a large portion of Lake George’s deep blue waters are surrounded by protected old-growth forest and backed by the Adirondack Mountains.

The lake, which is nicknamed the “Queen of American Lakes,” is considered to be the birthplace of the American vacation. Generation after generation of Americans have spent their summers at the lake, creating memories and reconnecting on the clean waters of Lake George.

The lake itself is long and thin with over 100 miles of shoreline, including the popular Million Dollar Beach near the town of Lake George, New York. Multiple resorts, campgrounds, and preserves line the lake, providing entry points to the watery paradise. In addition to swimming in the clean water, Lake George is popular among kayakers, paddleboarders, and water skiers. There are also plenty of boat cruises and charters.

Following Lake George on the list are nine other lakes that were selected for their cleanliness and clarity, including one of the Great Lakes and a high mountain lake in the mountains of Colorado.


1. Lake George — Lake George, New York

2. Crater Lake — Klamath County, Oregon

3. Lake Michigan — Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin

4. Lake Coeur d’Alene — Kootenai County, Idaho

5. Lake Tahoe — California and Nevada

6. Lake Chelan — North Cascades National Park, Washington

7. Hanging Lake — Glenwood Canyon, Colorado

8. Flathead Lake — Between Polson and Kalispell, Montana

9. Newfound Lake — Grafton County, New Hampshire

10. Deer Lake — Itasca County, Minnesota

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