Access to ice caves at Apostle Islands unlikely this winter

Ice caves at the Apostle Islands

CORNUCUPIA — Despite all the ice on Lake Superior, visitors likely won’t be able to venture out to see the ice caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in northern Wisconsin this winter.

Park Service officials went out on the lake near Cornucopia, Wisconsin, on Friday, March 1 to test the ice. The park’s chief of planning and resource management, Julie Van Stappen, says officials found the ice sheet along the length of caves “really fractured” and rough.

She tells Minnesota Public Radio News the snow also is insulating the ice, so instead of hard, solid ice, the team encountered soft, porous and slushy ice.

The ice caves were last accessible to the public in 2014 and 2015. But warm weather since then has prevented formation of ice thick enough to support throngs of visitors.

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