For A Limited Time Only: Leelanau Ice Caves Are Back

20 February 2015

Amid regular warnings about frozen pipes, frostbite and slippery road conditions comes a bit of good news brought on by February’s extreme cold—ice caves are beginning to form along the shoreline of the Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Check out this news link and video. In addition to showing a cave found off the coast near Glen Arbor this past week, it offers some great advice what to look and watch out when venturing onto the Lake Michigan ice.

Over the past two weeks, more than a couple people have reported ice caves forming off the coast in and around the Sleeping Bear Dunes. When Glen Arbor’s Eric LePaugh found one just offshore near town last week, he had a video camera in hand. He posted the footage along with pictures on his Leelanau Adventures Facebook page and later returned with a NBC affiliate news crew who filed this report.

Last year, many weeks of subzero temperatures and relentless Arctic winds created towering, 30-foot ice formations—spires, mountains and caves—all up and down the Sleeping Bear coast. The caves this year aren’t nearly as big or as plentiful.

If you go looking for ice caves, take some advice from LePaugh who found his by first scanning the ice from shore looking for mounds.

 “Never walk on top of the mound because it's hollow on the inside,” he warns, “ you can fall through break a leg or fall straight through the water and never return.”

Some other good tips are to never venture out on the ice alone. Tell someone where you are going and what time you plan to return. Also, be sure to dress for windy conditions, carry a walking stick and make sure wear a pair of ice cleats to help provide surer footing on icy, uneven terrain.