Ice Caves Return to Leelanau County

When our weekend plans were canceled this past Saturday, we took advantage of finally-sunny skies and tolerable temps and hit the open road for one of our regular rideabouts through Leelanau, in search of whatever fun we could find along the frozen Lake Michigan shoreline.

I’m happy to report that the shoreline delivered (as it always does), with the now-famous Leelanau ice caves making a repeat appearance this winter. Here are some of the formations that greeted us along the north end of Empire beach.


The caves seemed to be much closer to the proper shoreline than I remember them being at Gill’s Pier last year. Jim and I took Jackson (the soon-to-be 6 year old) and Chance (the puggle) through some of the more sound-looking sections of the slippery landscape, then I ventured a little further out on a solo second pass. Some of the more top-heavy ice structures gave me pause as I considered just what might happen when they do finally topple over as the melt approaches. Eventually, the very loud sound of shifting ice drove the point home and me off the ice. (Always exercise caution, right?!?) 🙂


We capped the day off with a sunset that couldn’t quite spill past it’s low cloud cover, instead leaving a shoreline full of winter explorers gawking at the pleasant surprise of an evening sun pillar.

Beautiful fire and ice. I, for one, am cutting Old Man Winter a little more slack in exchange. 🙂


19 thoughts on “Ice Caves Return to Leelanau County

  1. I hope you get to return soon and share more photos with us! 🙂

  2. kassmiles says:

    Any suggestions on winter shoreline scenes to visit that don’t involve walking on frozen water?

  3. kassmiles says:

    Lovely photos. I don’t think I’m venturing out there this year but am enjoying reading your blog about it.

  4. Teri says:

    Beautiful photos! Ashamed to say that even though I live in a Leelanau County I not ventured over to Lake Michigan in the winter for years! Wish I had ventured out last year, going to go for sure this weekend!

  5. Trish says:

    Beautiful work! Thank you for sharing.

  6. Charles says:

    Great photos! Thanks for the tip.

  7. Heather says:

    Love your “Turnip Rock” shot!

  8. farlane says:

    Very cool Jess!

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