Even though Notre Dame’s full name, Notre Dame du Lac, translates to “Our Lady of the Lake,” the 1200-acre campus actually contains two separate lakes! Situated in the northwest corner of campus, it was around St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s Lake that Father Sorin chose to start the University of Notre Dame in 1842. Back then, the lakes supplied the campus with everything from ice to marl for bricks, but today they have become a favorite spot of students looking to go for a run or those who just want to enjoy the beautiful view.
St. Mary's Lake
The smaller of the two lakes, St. Mary’s Lake, is the location for several Hall’s signature events. These include the Fischer Regatta, where students build their own (sometimes) seaworthy vessels, as well as Carroll Hall’s Lakeside Music Festival, which rings in the warm weather at the end of every year with live music overlooking the lake.
St. Joseph’s Lake
St. Joseph’s Lake is a popular spot for students looking to relax during the warmer months, as it sports a small beach and pier, in addition to a boating facility dedicated to student use. Around the lake’s edge you’ll find the University’s Stations of the Cross, as well as a secret pathway to Duck Island if you can spot it!