René-Levasseur Island is a large island in the Centre of Lake Manicouagan in Quebec, Canada. Its highest peak is Mount Babel, at 952 m, which is contained in the Louis-Babel Ecological Reserve. With a total area of 2,020 km2 and a diameter of 50.7 km, the island is several times larger in area than the annular lake in which it is situated.
The island has a distinctive shape, often described as resembling a perfect circle or, more precisely, a rounded annular shape with a large central lake. The circular shape is a consequence of the reservoir being formed within the confines of an ancient impact crater known as the Manicouagan crater.
René-Levasseur Island is the world's second-largest lake island (the largest is Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron) and is the world’s largest artificial lake island. The geological structure was formed by the impact of a meteorite 214 million years ago. The meteorite is believed to have been about 5 km in diameter, and would have hit Earth at a speed of 17 km/s, the fifth most powerful known impact that Earth has seen. The impact of the meteorite formed a crater roughly 100 km in diameter, the centre of which forms the island known today. It became an artificial island when the Manicouagan reservoir was flooded in 1970, merging two crescent-shaped lakes: Mouchalagane Lake on the western side and Manicouagan Lake on the eastern side.
The island was named after a well-known Canadian geographer, René Levassuer, who played a significant role in the development of Quebec’s northern region. Although the island is technically a part of Quebec, it is located in an extremely remote and isolated region, making it inaccessible by road. However, it is possible to reach the island by air, and visitors who make the journey are treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding lake and natural landscapes.
Despite its remote location, René-Levasseur Island has become a popular destination for adventurous travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, and boating. The island’s unique and pristine natural landscapes make it an ideal destination for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
According to the Internet