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Despite Recent Cold, Apostle Islands Ice Caves Won’t Open To Visitors This Season

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Although the Upper Midwest has endured nearly two weeks of subzero temperatures, the ice caves at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore won’t open to visitors this season.

In a Facebook post, park officials said Thursday that the ice on Lake Superior created by the recent cold isn’t safe to hold a winter event, especially considering the expected increase in visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials say the ice around the caves, located off the shore of northern Wisconsin, is pack ice frozen into place. This kind of ice can be significantly uneven in thickness.

Additionally, temperatures are expected to climb above freezing this weekend, which could lead to some melting.

Up until two weeks ago, this winter was relatively mild, with little ice formed on Lake Superior, officials say. On Feb. 4, there was open water around the Apostle Islands caves.

In an ideal event year, like those of 2014 and 2015, cold temperatures over a longer period of time allow for calm waters to freeze up, forming a thick layer of ice around the caves.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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