At the start of this year I decided I was going to travel somewhere, near or far, at least once a month for the whole year. January – New York City; February – Clearwater Beach, FL; March – Northern Wisconsin to the Ice Caves of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; April – Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois; as for May, I am currently traveling the country in an RV. But by far the coolest experience I’ve had so far happened during my day-long adventure to the Apostle Islands Ice Caves.
The ice caves aren’t able to open every winter, so visiting them all depends on the weather and if the Lake freezes enough. I believe it has to be around 12 inches thick to make it happen! If you get the chance to visit, I highly recommend you go. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and one that I plan to do more than once.
We left Chicago, IL at 4:00 in the morning in order to drive to the Apostle Island Ice Caves, an 8-hour drive from the city. My partner in crime and better half, Brandon Sharpe, and I decided to make the trip into a 24-hour adventure. We arrived around 1:00PM and hiked as far as we could until sunset. After exploring for as long as we could, we drove back to Chicago after grabbing some dinner -- and arrived back home at 4:00AM the next day. We were exhausted, but the ice caves were so worth it!
There is nothing like the feeling of walking across the frozen lake and seeing such a unique sight. Thousands of people visit the caves whenever they are open to catch this frozen wonder. This year they were only able to be open for a couple of weeks, and we just happened to go two days before they closed for the season. Also, that day they had over 10,000 visitors out on the lake!
The caves tower over Lake Superior in Northern Bayfield County. In the summer, you can kayak through them, but in the winter the experience is even more unbelievable. You walk out onto frozen Lake Superior, and the caves just go on and on for about two miles down the shore of Meyers Beach.
If you’re going to head out to experience these incredible caves yourself, just a word of forewarning: Wear ice cleats, dress warm and be ready to hike!
By: Chelsey Dever
Adventurer. Designer. Photographer.
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