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Lake Superior ice caves still open but end is near

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Your chances to gawk at those icy marvels of nature along Lake Superior's south shore are bound to melt away. But the National Park Service says for the time being the ice remains thick enough to make the mile-long trek to the Apostle Islands.

The Pioneer Press reports the Park Service is keeping a close eye on the conditions along the National Lakeshore near Bayfield, Wisconsin.

Tests show the ice remains thick enough for foot traffic. But warm weather and winds can break up lake ice quickly. In fact, the Park Service says the ice conditions can change in less time than it takes to walk from the mainland to the islands.

That's why all visitors are encouraged to call the Ice Line at (715) 779-3397 extension 3 to get the latest information about conditions.

This is the first winter since 2009 that ice conditions have allowed a trip to the caves and the number of visitors has topped 96,000.

Northland's News Center offers a rundown of Frequently Asked Questions and useful information for those planning to make the trip.

By the way, bicycles are not allowed off the roads of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, but some cyclists are enjoying the ice outside the National Lakeshore. The Bicycle Blog of Wisconsin says there are spectacular caves on Madeline Island and in Chequamegon Bay that can be enjoyed on two wheels.

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