What State Has the Most Shoreline Including Lakes?

Wondering what state has the most shoreline including lakes? The state of Alaska has the most shoreline of any U.S. state at 33,904 miles, this includes both Pacific and Arctic shoreline. The estimated tidal shoreline of Alaska is 47,300 miles, which includes islands, inlet sounds, and bays.

Alaska’s lakes

Alaska also has over 3,000,000 (yes million) lakes over 20 acres in size. How do we determine the miles of coastline for all of these lakes though?

Well this is just a very rough, and highly conservative estimate of Alaska’s shoreline when it comes to all of these lakes. 

1 acre has 43,560 square feet. Let’s just estimate that all lakes are exactly 20 acres, even though we know that’s just the minimum and many are much larger. 

43,560 x 20 = 871,200 square feet per lake.

Which would make each side about 933 feet long on a perfect square 20 acre lake.

This equals a 3,732 feet perimeter or around .7 miles of freshwater shoreline around each 20 acre lake.

.7 x 3,000,000 equals 2,100,000 miles of lake shoreline.

Just from the 3,000,000 lakes.

So there really is no contest, Alaska has more shoreline than any other state both tidal and freshwater by a lot.

Because of the vast number of lakes that are in Alaska, many are likely undiscovered or on private property. There is really no way we can get an exact count on just how much lake shoreline is in Alaska. One thing is for sure though, Alaska has the most shoreline, including lakes, of any other state. 

Here’s a cool aerial video that shoes several of Alaska’s massive lakes. 

How big is Alaska?

Alaska is a massive state covering over 663,268 square miles. It is twice the size of Texas, our next largest state and could only fit into the lower 48 states about 5 times. California, Montana, and Texas could all fit inside Alaska.

Even as big as it is, the population of Alaska in 2017 was less than 800,000 people which is less than Rhode Island, our smallest state. Rhode Island could fit into Alaska about 425 times!

What state has the second most shoreline including lakes? 

Minnesota, also known as the land of 10,000 lakes (11,842 total), has the most shoreline of any other of the lower 48 states with almost 90,000 miles of freshwater shoreline, according to 50states.com. I’m assuming this is counting the shoreline of all of the approximately 10,000 lakes.

Thanks to one guy that did some extensive research about lake shorelines in the U.S., we can say that Minnesota comes in second for most shoreline including lakes. The state is obviously landlocked and has no coastal shoreline but that doesn’t matter when you factor in the 10,000 lakes that are in the state. 

Based on Chris’s research, Minnesota is believed to have 183,326 miles of freshwater shoreline, and this is with just about 10,000 lakes. Alaska has more than 3, 000,000!