This, the fifth largest lake in the world, was the first of the Great Lakes seen by white men. By following the Ottawa River route, Samuel de Champlain in 1615 came to the "Freshwater Sea." It was a half a century before the French fully understood the lake's size. Lake shipping has swelled immensely since the Griffin's solitary voyage in 1679. Much of the shore is still as wild as when Huron Indians were the only traveler's on the lake.