Lake Erie is one of the Great Lakes and currently serves as part of Ohio's northern boundary. During the 1700s and 1800s, Lake Erie provided a quick means of transportation for men engaged in the fur trade as well as settlers hoping to improve their fortunes in the Ohio Country. Its importance grew during the 1810s and the 1820s as Americans began to build canals. The completion of the Erie Canal, connecting the Hudson River in New York with Lake Erie, provided the first navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the upper Midwest. This allowed farmers in Ohio a relatively quick and inexpensive route to transport their products to market. Cleveland quickly grew and became one of the leading industrial centers of Ohio thanks to its location on Lake Erie.