Officials Remain Hopeful For Opening Of Ice Caves

Lake Superior Ice Cover Will Continue Expanding Through March

Courtney Celley (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Park officials at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore are hoping their luck and the ice will hold for the Lake Superior ice caves this winter.

The Lakeshore’s Neil Howk said winds have prevented ice from building around the caves. However, he also said it’s still early yet in the season.

“The ice cover on Lake Superior usually continues to expand until the first part of March, so we’re still thinking that there’s going to be more ice forming for the rest of this month,” he said.

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Howk said the ice has to be at least 8 inches thick from Meyers Beach to the caves, and has to stick around a couple weeks, before they could open.

Bayfield Mayor Larry MacDonald doesn’t expect many people to visit the caves this winter.

“It’s only for the truly religious that thinks they can walk on water — that would be it this year.”

But MacDonald said they’re still counting their blessings. Room tax collections were up 14 percent last year, bringing in around $291,000 for the city and chamber.