Apostle Island ice caves still inaccessible

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, January 20, 2015

BAYFIELD, Wis. — Businesses that cater to tourists flocking to the Apostle Island ice caves say this season so far has been very different than last year. 

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore said there’s little hope for an early ice cave season because of ice conditions. Last winter at this time, 3,000 people viewed the ice caves in one weekend.

The owner of the Village Inn in Cornucopia, Cheryl O’Bryon, said that this year “it’s a totally different world.” She said it’s “very, very quiet.”

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The locals said last year’s business was unprecedented because of the amount of media attention given to the spectacle of the caves. Before the unusually long and cold winter of 2013-14, the ice caves hadn’t been accessible for four years. In the years prior to that, the caves had usually been open for at least a couple of weeks in February.