Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

DULUTH, MN (AP)--   The breathtaking ice caves along the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore will likely be inaccessible this year, due to low ice coverage on Lake Superior.

As of Friday, less than 5 percent of Lake Superior was covered by ice, much lower than the typical 25 percent of coverage at the end of January.

While ice coverage on Superior typically peaks in February or March, data shows most winters with this level of ice on Jan. 31 don't accumulate much more.

The Star Tribune reports that the last time the ice caves were accessible by foot was in 2015.

RED CLIFF, WI (AP)--   A Native American tribe in Wisconsin is constructing a cell tower that's part of a multibillion-dollar effort to build a nationwide public safety broadband network to improve emergency communications. 

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa broke ground on the 300-foot tower on its reservation Wednesday.

The tribe is working on the project with AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority, an independent agency established by Congress in 2012.

ASHLAND, WI (AP)--   Autopsies indicate hypothermia and possibly drowning apparently caused the deaths of four Wisconsin family members kayaking on Lake Superior at the Apostle Islands. 

Ashland County Sheriff Mick Brennan tells the Ashland Daily News that preliminary autopsy results indicate that 39-year-old Eric Fryman died of hypothermia while his three children, ages 3 to 9, died of hypothermia and possibly drowning.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (AP)--   Officials say a kayak ride on Lake Superior that ended in the deaths of four Wisconsin family members would have been difficult even for experienced paddlers. 

Bob Krumenaker, superintendent of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, tells the Star Tribune of Minneapolis it was a sobering reminder of the vastness and danger of the great lake.

The accident left Eric Fryman, of Loyal, Wisconsin, and his three children dead. Only his wife, the children's mother, Cari Mews-Fryman, survived.

APOSTLE ISLANDS NATIONAL LAKESHORE, WI--  Eleven kayakers were rescued from Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands during Monday night’s severe storms. 

Three National Park Service vessels and one Coast Guard ship responded to Sand Island on a report that several kayakers had capsized and washed up on shore. 

Darkness, wind, rain, lightning, and high waves made rescue operations difficult, but personnel were able to access the beach and remove the kayakers, some of whom were juveniles. 

Ice caves close

Mar 10, 2015

APOSTLE ISLANDS NATIONAL LAKESHORE (AP)--   The popular ice caves in northwestern Wisconsin have closed after a brief season. 

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Bob Krumenaker says the caves closed Monday night.  The ice is starting to melt and the risk of falling ice formation poses safety concerns.

The caves opened to the public on Feb. 28 and were temporarily closed because of high winds and blowing snow, but reopened last week.

Ice caves close

Mar 10, 2015

APOSTLE ISLANDS NATIONAL LAKESHORE (AP)--   The popular ice caves in northwestern Wisconsin have closed after a brief season. 

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Bob Krumenaker says the caves closed Monday night.  The ice is starting to melt and the risk of falling ice formation poses safety concerns.

The caves opened to the public on Feb. 28 and were temporarily closed because of high winds and blowing snow, but reopened last week.

Apostle Islands caves draw thousands

Mar 3, 2015
Brian Peterson / Associated Press

APOSTLE ISLANDS NATIONAL LAKESHORE (AP)--   The ice caves in northwestern Wisconsin are proving very popular again this year. 

The caves on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands attracted nearly 12,000 people this past weekend.

Julie Van Stappen, chief of planning and resource management for the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, says more than 7,000 visited on opening day Saturday and nearly 4,900 on Sunday.

Park service officials had warned visitors there is a lot of glare ice and had recommended people use crampons and use ski poles.

Walk to ice caves slippery, chief says

Feb 26, 2015

APOSTLE ISLANDS NATIONAL LAKESHORE (AP)--   Apostle Islands National Lakeshore officials say the popular ice caves are set to open to the public Saturday if conditions don't change. 

The National Park Service made the announcement Wednesday. But officials urge caution for people who make the trek on Lake Superior ice.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports lakeshore planning chief Julie Van Stappen warns the ice is slippery.

Van Stappen says unlike last year, "it's almost glare ice for a good chunk of the way." Officials recommend people use crampons and use ski poles.

Ice caves quieter this winter

Jan 20, 2015

APOSTLE ISLANDS, WI (AP)--   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 says 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, tells WDIO-TV that this year "it's a totally different world." She says it's "very, very quiet."

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