News / USA

Winter Builds Rare Icy Path to Lake Superior Ice Caves

Reuters
Crowds of people are flocking to northwestern Wisconsin to trek on a frozen-over Lake Superior to reach dramatic ice caves accessible on foot for the first time in several years, courtesy of the long frigid winter.
 
The ice caves on Superior's shoreline are carved out of sandstone by waves from the lake and derive their name from the icy freeze in winter that makes them glisten with hoar frost, icicles and ice formations.
 
Reachable in warm weather by boat, the caves are accessible in winter only by walking across ice when it is thick and stable enough.
 
It has been five years since the ice caves were last reachable in the winter, officials said.
 
About 35,000 people have hiked the more than 1-mile route across the ice in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore since officials declared the ice "low risk" on Jan. 15, park spokeswoman Julie Van Stappen said.
 
"We have never had this number of people coming," she said. "It has been a bit overwhelming, but it has been great for the local community, and they are gorgeous."
 
A cool autumn and early winter combined with polar vortexes helped lake ice build up weeks earlier than normal, said George Leshkevich, a researcher for the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory.
 
The Great Lakes in the last week reached its broadest ice coverage in 20 years at 88 percent, with Lake Superior at about 95 percent, according to the research laboratory.
 
Van Stappen said the round-trip trek to the caves can take three hours or more over a well-packed and slippery path with little cover to break the sometimes fierce winds.
 
Still, the number of visitors was expected to surge over the three-day Presidents Day weekend, boosting tourist activity in such towns as Bayfield, about 18 miles west of the caves.
 
Maggie's restaurant in Bayfield was doing more than double the business it normally does in February, which is typically a good winter month anyway because of events such as cross country ski races, office manager Heidi Nelson said.
 
"Our waiters and bartenders are just elated," Nelson said.
 
At the Bayfield Inn, manager Tyler Stoklasa said this may be the busiest winter season he has seen.
 
"We are doing July-type business right now," Stoklasa said.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid