Lake Erie is one of the Great Lakes. Of the five, it is the second smallest, farthest south, and shallowest. Its northern shore is entirely within the Canadian province of Ontario. Three states are represented on the southern shore -- New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The short western shore is in Michigan.
After the opening of the Erie Canal, Lake Erie assumed a major transportation role for the United States. It is now a component of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, linking all the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.