Lake Superior caves put on rare, dazzling icicle show

APOSTLE ISLANDS, Wisconsin — Just as people dress differently when temperatures plunge below zero, so does nature.

The arctic siege gripping the Upper Midwest has turned most of the Great Lakes into vast frozen plains blanketed in white. At Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in northern Wisconsin, caves formed over centuries along the Lake Superior shoreline by crashing waves, freezing and thawing have been transformed into showplaces for dazzling natural ice sculptures. Waterfalls frozen into towering pillars extend from cliffs to the lakeshore. Icicles by the millions dangle from the cave ceilings like giant chandeliers, many as delicate and sharp as needles, others so intricate they appear to have been carved by a master craftsman.

Cold winters are nothing new here, but this year’s temperatures have been so consistently low that park officials say they’ve made the ice formations particularly beautiful by preventing freeze-and-thaw cycles that cause blurring. Another benefit: The caves usually are accessible only by water, but Superior’s rock-solid surface is letting people walk to them for the first time since 2009. About 35,000 have made the trek.

Here is a gallery of photos by Brian Peterson of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis.

More in Local News

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

To get drug money, Lynnwood man says he cut 911 wires

Those wires happened to be the ones used by 911 dispatchers, but emergency services weren’t affected.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Police: Driver threatens pedestrian, ends up in drug bust

Meth, cocaine and heroin were found in his car, along with a loaded pistol and cash, police say.

Son arrested for hitting father on head at Marysville home

The father grabbed a metal rod and struck his son in the head, too. Both needed medical treatment.

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Pay a toll on US 2 trestle? 10,000 say no on social media

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one way.

Angel of the Winds pays $3.4M for Everett arena naming rights

The casino replaces Xfinity as the lead sponsor for the prominent downtown Everett events center.

Most Read