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"Ice Caves" At Apostle Islands National Lakeshore On Track To Open To Public Saturday

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Barring any last-minute changes, the "ice caves" at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore should be open to the public this weekend/NPS.

The third time apparently was the charm at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, where continued frigid weather has frozen Lake Superior hard enough to allow for the public to tour the lakeshore's "ice caves" beginning Saturday, barring any significant changes.

Lakeshore staff say two times before this winter ice formed along the coast where the ice caves are located, but each time it broke up. Now, though, they say the ice has formed with enough thickness and extent to allow viewing of the ice caves. If conditions remain as they are or improve, the Ice Caves will open on Saturday, 

The Apostle Islands mainland ice caves feature some of the most spectacular cliffs and sea caves found in the Great Lakes. The features are different every year, as is the route to see them. This year there is very little snow and a lot of glare ice, making the route exceptionally slippery. Ice cleats (e.g., stabilicers) will be a necessity this year and ski poles are highly recommended by lakeshore staff.

Ice conditions can change rapidly, so it is important to keep safety in mind at all times. High wind speeds, such as those forecast for the near future, are a factor that can quickly change conditions and cause decreased visibility. Visitors must prepare for cold conditions and possible extreme wind chill. Beware of ice formations falling from the cliffs. Because of such slippery conditions, bringing your pet is not recommended. However, if you do, pets must be on a leash and under control at all times, and pet owners must properly dispose of pet excrement in trash receptacles. Finally, don'™t forget a camera to take home a tangible reminder of this spectacular landscape.

The sea caves can be reached from the end of Meyers Road, 18 miles west of Bayfield off State Highway 13. There is a $5/person/day fee for those 16 and older for visiting the caves, regardless of access point or method. Please bring cash. There will also be an annual pass available for $10/person. The annual pass is only available at Park Headquarters in Bayfield (415 Washington Ave.) during the Ice Cave Event.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the park'™s Facebook page, or call the 24-hour 'œApostle Islands Ice Line' at 715-779-3397 ext. 3. Information can also be found on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Bayfield County Tourism, and Bayfield Chamber of Commerce websites.


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