Word has spread far and wide about the Lake Michigan ice caves off the shore of Leelanau County in Northern Michigan. The two-story high ice formations are complete with ice caves and ice volcanoes, and line Leelanau’s coast during this cold, snowy and windy winter. This weekend, as blue skies opened above, thousands of people drove out north of Leland to see for themselves. We’re not sure Leelanau has ever seen anything quite like this event, where parked cars lined Gill’s Pier Road for more than two miles and, on a day of single digit temperatures—Sunday—all manner of Northerner hoofed it down the country road to see the natural spectacle. People carrying babies, pulling toddlers in sleds, elderly people, families with teens, ice climbers with gear, backpacks and helmets. Kids and adults sliding here and there around what was basically a once-in-a-lifetime natural terrain park. Enjoy a few photos of the day.
PLEASE NOTE: Tom Skowronski, of Leelanau County’s Office of Emergency Management, has announced that as of Friday, February 21st, wind has moved some surface ice away from beach, and open water is visible within feet of the caves. There are now large cracks in the arches and they are expected to start collapsing soon. The melting and ice shifts have rendered the area unsafe. Please do not enter onto the ice. Instead, enjoy this beautiful photo slideshow from the comfort of the great indoors and then visit the caves in the gorgeous video.