the lakes

The Lakes

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The same spring-fed lakes that captivated Father Edward Sorin in 1842 still gracefully buffer the northwest edge of the Notre Dame campus. St. Mary’s Lake to the west and St. Joseph’s Lake to the east serve as a park and nature preserve, but in the early days they provided food, ice, marl for brick and water for steam. Each lake has a picturesque walking/jogging trail around it and plays host to various student water activities including frigid mid-winter plunges for charity and the Fisher Regatta, an annual student boat race in which participants design and build their own (not especially seaworthy) vessels. St. Joseph’s Lake has a small beach and pier for swimming and a boating facility for student use.