Samuel de Champlain, the namesake of Lake Champlain, was looking for a rumored inland sea that most historians believe was Hudson Bay. Instead, he discovered Lake Huron of the Great Lakes in 1615 and mapped out a large portion of its coastline.
Champlain was skilled in navigating, geography, cartography, drafting and numerous other skills that made him an ideal explorer. Under François Gravé Du Pont, Champlain explored Acadia and helped establish the settlement of Port Royal in 1605 as well as what is Quebec City today.
After explorations throughout Canada, Champlain canoed up the Ottawa River to Lake Nipissing then up the French River to its source, Lake Huron. He was the first European to see the Great Lakes. His exploration party may also have been the first Europeans to see Niagara Falls.