Visitors showed up by the thousands over the weekend to see ice caves nestled into the shoreline of northern Wisconsin.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore ice caves are located several miles outside of Bayfield, Wis., on a 12-mile stretch along the coast. In order to see the caves, Lake Superior has to freeze enough for spectators to walk over ice to the caves.
The ice was thick enough for the caves to open on Saturday, attracting more than 7,000 people, according to the National Park Service, the Associated Press reported.
Park officials had checked ice conditions Wednesday to make sure the ice was almost a foot thick to handle the foot traffic.
In the past few months strong winds broke up the ice cover and prevented the caves from opening, according to Neil Howk, assistant chief of interpretation and education for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
Howk says he’s unsure how long the caves will be accessible, which is dependent on the weather. This year park officials warned visitors to wear ice cleats on their shoes and bring ski poles.
“The ice is barren so it’s like walking on a hockey rink. It’s incredibly treacherous,” Howk said.
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SOURCE: USA Today