Lake Michigan Ice Caves No Longer Safe

LEELANAU COUNTY, MI – The famous ice caves along the Lake Michigan Ice Cavesshoreline in Northern Michigan’s Leelanau Township are now off limits.  High winds have broken up and moved out the ice on the west side of the formations, making it impossible to view them any longer.  In addition, there are now huge cracks in the arches that also make it unsafe as well.  Just another reminder of the power of the Lake Michigan and the respect it demands.

Earlier this week, a man was injured when he fell 10 to 12 feet.

The county Road Commission has posted signs saying that the road to the lake is closed because of the danger.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

 Man injured in ice caves fall

A 21 year-old man was injured when he slipped and fell 10-12 feet off an ice formation in Leelanau Township.  Leelanau Dispatch was called at 11:39 am Wednesday with a report that a man was injured from a fall and was laying on the ice.  Leelanau Township Fire and Rescue performed the ice rescue and transported the victim to Munson Medical Center.  It is believed that the man landed on his feet but may have suffered a back injury as a result.  His name is not being released due to medical privacy issues.

Although there have been previous injuries due to the slippery and uneven ice, this was the first call for medical service reported at the ice formations.  Visitors are reminded to used caution and common sense when venturing out on the Lake Michigan ice.  Like many wild animals, it may look beautiful and harmless, but in reality, can be dangerous and even deadly if not respected.  Visitors are also reminded to respect the residents and the property of those who live in the Gills Pier area.

Motorists are asked to abide by the one way traffic flow which has been instituted to accommodate the large number of vehicles in the area.  Traffic is one way on Gills Pier Road from N Manitou Trail at Fischer’s Happy Hour to Onomonee Road and to Carlson Road.  Traffic will not be allowed to enter from Carlson Road.  Parking will only be allowed on the east side of Gills Pier and the south side of Onomonee Road as well.

The change in traffic flow was instituted by law enforcement, fire department representatives and road commission officials after it was clear that fire trucks and ambulances could not get to local residences or the lake access with cars parked on both sides of Gills Pier and Onomonee Roads.

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