Photo via Sweetwater Visions
This winter is the first time in around five years that you can walk into the ice caves of Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands. The caves are usually a popular summer destination, explored by kayakers, but generally in the winter the lake only partially freezes, or the ice is too thin and unstable to allow any cold weather visiting. This year however, no surprise with all of that polar vortex nonsense, the ice is so think and covers so much of the lake and the caves that it is completely solid and safe to walk, cross country ski, snow shoe or even bike onto the lake, around the islands, and the mile trek to the caves. I mean, still probably go with a group and let someone else know when you are going and when you’ll be back, just as a precaution, but it has pretty much been made official that you’ll be totally fine.
However, you better go soon, because as soon as this ridiculous winter starts to fade away and the temperatures become even close to reasonable again, the caves will likely be deemed unstable again and visiting will not be safe. Since no one knows when this chance will come again, since the track record isn’t in our favor, the caves have been getting a ton of visitors. It may be cold but if you can figure out how to work your camera without taking your gloves off then it’s totally worth it. The caves are said to have all kinds of sparkling, glimmering and fantastic icicle displays, especially when the sun shines into the opening of the caves and lights them up. Just remember to call and check with the Ice Line before you head out, to make sure the melting hasn’t started yet. It is predicted that you have just a few more weeks to get out there.
Would you rather visit the caves of the Apostle Islands in the winter or in the summer?