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Apostle Islands Ice Caves

This past weekend we took another road trip. Our destination was the Apostle Islands Dog Sled Races in Bayfield Wisconsin with a little skiing in between. On Friday we stopped at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Headquarters in Bayfield to check on the accessibility of the ice caves and were told the ice has been moving with the strong winds we have been having. Protocol requires that the ice be stable for two weeks before the Park Service allows access from the ice.

Apostle Islands Ice Caves

On Saturday after the dog sled races we decided to drive down to Myers Beach and hike the Lakeshore Trail which runs along the cliffs above the lake. The trail is two miles with limited views of the lake until you reach the two mile mark. These shots were taken from the cliffs above the Apostle Islands Ice Caves.

Apostle Islands Ice Caves

The trail is not marked. It is easy to follow when the snow is gone and but if you happened to stop after a big snow storm with strong winds it might be a little difficult to follow. On this particular day it was a popular destination and we encountered a number of other hikers on the trail. It takes about an hour to walk out to where you can view the ice caves.

Apostle Islands Ice Caves

You basically have a couple of options when hiking the trail. You can snowshoe the trail which is the best option if it is not well tracked or you have lots of fresh snow. There are quite a few steep sections on the trail where it drops down into ravines and then back up the other side. so it can be a little challenging with snowshoes. The other option is to walk the trail which appears to be the best option if the trail has been traveled quite a bit and the snow is packed.

Since I had walked the trail a number of times and knew how steep sections of it were we brought along our adjustable snowshoe poles and cleats for our feet to provide additional traction. This made it an easy and enjoyable hike.

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