Sea Caves become Ice Caves - And Accessible by Foot
A walk to see Lake Superior sea caves normally accessible only by boat begins with a stroll across a bay of frozen Lake Superior. This route, only available at certain times of certain Winters, is almost 2.5 miles of flatness, many times bitterly cold and windy. But the reward is sea caves transformed into incredible, and famous, ice caves. Snowshoes are not required, but be prepared for all conditions. There was everything from packed snow to glare ice, but thankfully no open water!
Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake, is about the size of South Carolina, or Austria, and is capable of great violence. It sits between the Northern US and Canada.
Addition 2/14/14: I am told that this is the first time in 5 years that the caves are accessible, and that visitation is creating a small economic boom for the normally small winter tourism trade in this area.
When word gets out that the Ice Caves are accessible, this route can get very popular. On the late Friday afternoon I visited, the place was jammed, though the people were spread across the expanse of the cliffs and mostly returning as I was starting out. A couple I met said they had the caves to themselves that morning, but I imagine the light is better on the west facing cliffs in the PM.
I walked out on this part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on Feb 8, 2014, starting at the Meyers Beach parking area. Wind Chill warnings existed earlier in the day, and the wind was at my back walking out there.
The walk back into the teeth of the wind howling across the bulk of frozen Lake Superior was not fun, but the trip was totally worth it.