Frozen Lake Superior provides rare sight of caves - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Frozen Lake Superior provides rare sight of caves

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UNDATED (NBC) - Tens of thousands have made the pilgrimage to the northern tip of Wisconsin, trudging more than a mile across frozen Lake Superior like penguins marching over polar ice.

Their quest: a rare view of majestic natural cathedrals of ice.

Centuries of crashing waves created the caves. Weeks of arctic blasts freezing falling water created the stunning ice sculptures adorning them.

Icicles hang like delicate chandeliers and suspended pillars create chambers accessible only by crawling.

For photographers, the challenge is to find the perfect angle.

For kids, it's a giant frozen playground.

In the summer months, most people would need a kayak to get in. At this point, the lake is about 40 to 50 feet deep. But instead of all that water, people can stand on 18 inches of ice.

With 88 percent of the Great Lakes now covered by ice, it's the first time in five years the ice has been thick enough to walk to the caves.

This time, people are coming to the national park in record numbers to explore--on hands and knees, pulling children in sleds and sometimes even with dogs.

The crowds are an unexpected boost for local businesses.

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