Apostle Islands ice caves are no-go again this year

Frozen Lake Superior shoreline in winter showing an orange stone cliff, large icicles, the frozen lake, and people for scale. There is copy space on the left side of the frame. Photograph is from the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Lake Superio

The striking ice caves on Lake Superior will not open this season.

Officials at northern Wisconsin's Apostle Islands National Lakeshore say the caves won't be accessible because of poor ice conditions as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

Although it's been plenty cold the past two weeks, ice coverage on Lake Superior was only about 50 percent as of this past weekend. And the park said lake ice near the caves is unstable and rough, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

Park staff monitor ice conditions through the winter to see if it's safe for public access. Park Superintendent Lynne Dominy said access to the caves has become a rare event as Lake Superior warms.

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The caves were last open to public access in 2014 and 2015, drawing thousands of visitors who walked a mile or more on frozen Lake Superior to reach the spectacle.

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