What State Has the Most Shoreline Including Lakes?

The state of Alaska has an estimated 47,300 miles of tidal shoreline which includes islands, inlet sounds, and bays.

Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the country with 6,640 miles of coastline on the Ocean.

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…

Shoreline for Alaska’s lakes

This is just a very rough estimate..

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, and that’s a very conservative estimate.

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

icy Alaska shoreline

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 almost 12,000 lakes.

lakes of Minnesota

I’ve seen dozens of different numbers thrown around about the shoreline in Alaska. This seems to be the most common answers in regards to how much shoreline Alaska actually has. One thing is for sure though, Alaska has the most shoreline of any other state when combining freshwater and coastal (not including rivers and streams).

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!

sources: http://www.flyalaska.com/alaskafacts.html, http://www.alaska.org/how-big-is-alaska/iowa