Skip to main content

Time to play hooky: Sunday is last day to visit Apostle Island ice caves


If you've been putting off a visit to the ice caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, time's a-burning.

MinnPost reports that the spectacular caves, a unique midwinter collaboration between Old Man Winter and Mother Nature, will be off limits after Sunday. Don't let any grass grow under your feet; park officials said Wednesday afternoon that the end could come sooner if ice conditions deteriorate more quickly than anticipated. Warming weather has caused the ice to thin. Softening ice at the shoreline has begun to create patches of open water between ice and shore.

The National Park Service website for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore urges visitors to check in before planning a visit.

"Before heading to the caves, please call the Ice Line at (715) 779-3397 - extension 3, for the most current ice condition information," the site warns, and to prove They Mean Business, that's written in bold red type.

The area got something close to a year's worth of visitors in a 10-week period. An estimated 120,000 people trekked in to view the rare natural wonder during the months considered the off season.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported the surge of visitors to the remote corner of northern Wisconsin is going to carry over to the summer. The story said that operators of restaurants, hotels and motels in the area have experienced a jump in the number of bookings for the warmer months.

Mike O'Bryon, supervisor for the town of Bell, runs The Village Inn, and said the lodge is already booked for July, “with reservations. We have cabins and rooms and it's filling up quick. Usually it doesn't happen this early. It's definitely impacted it.” O'Bryon calls it “crazy wonderful.”

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore spokeswoman Julie Van Stappen said, "“We may have been discovered.”

Next Up

south lake minnetonka police department

25-year-old arrested after multi-city police chase in western suburbs

Police were called for a welfare check but learned it was a domestic violence incident.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 8.34.54 AM

After getting COVID, Harrison Smith still not considering vaccine

The Vikings safety says he doesn't plan on getting vaccinated.


First omicron variant COVID case detected in MN

The individual is an adult male who lives in Hennepin County and had recently traveled.

wright county Sheriff Sean Deringer

Minnesota sheriff bashes MPD, 'disgusted' by officers' actions

The sheriff said he will no longer defend the Minneapolis Police Department.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 7.59.52 AM

More than 2 years after announcing, Duck Donuts finally opens at MOA

The grand opening of the new location took place Wednesday.

unsplash - school girl students

St. Paul is closing 6 schools amid declining enrollment

The board revised the plan after the school communities voiced concerns.

Karl-Anthony Towns

X-rays negative after Karl-Anthony Towns takes scary fall

Towns crashed hard to the ground late in the game Wednesday night.

Minneapolis police

2 more homicides push Minneapolis closer to record set in 1995

The deadly shootings happened on the city's North Side Wednesday night.

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.