By: Bound2explore January 29, 2017
The Eben Ice cave is one of those natural wonders that leave you speechless when you see it. This Ice cave offers more than just an amazing view. The hiking trail that leads to the cave also offers a nice view. I think it’s worth the hike whenever you are in Upper Peninsula. Definitely it is worth a drive whenever you are in Michigan in the winter time. As for me, it was worth the flight to Michigan to explore the Eben Ice Cave this winter season. Now that I intrigue you with this must do thing in winter time, you might want to know on how to get to there? Where to stay? And what to prepare for the smooth hike? For real, this is not a walk in the park, nor it is an easy hike.
If you fly to Detroit airport like me, you will need to rent a car. There’s no direct public transportation to the site. You will need 6.5 hours on a good day to drive from Detroit to Upper Peninsula where the Eben Ice Cave is situated. The peninsula region in the State of Michigan is divided into lower and upper peninsula. The two are connected by the Mackinaw Bridge.
We decided to break our trip and stayed overnight at the hotel in Mackinaw City because the drive was quite long. Mackinaw City is a perfect place to stay. It is situated in Lower Peninsula right before you cross the Mackinaw Bridge. Its water front hotels are beautifully lined up along the Mackinaw Strait. Imagine, waking up in the morning to the view of Mackinaw Strait. If you need help figuring out where to stay, check the Mackinaw City website. The next morning, we continued our drive to Eben Ice Cave.
Eben ice cave is located in Rock River Canyon Wilderness in Hiawatha National forest. There’s no street address and no parking lot either. So you drive to nearest town, Deerton and follow the sign that said “Ice Cave”. The sign will take you to the snow covered field. Then you park the car off the street. You will need to walk across the field and hike into the forest. If you have a snow mobile, you can ride your snow mobile across the field to shorten your hike.
Before you enter the forest, a sign will greet you “you are entering the wilderness area”. When you see this sign, you know you are on the right trail.
Then you keep walking on the hiking trail. When we were there, snow was piling up so the hiking trail was not really clear. At beginning the hike was easy but not anymore when we started encountering a very hilly and icy trail. Not to mention that we had to slide down to the ditch, stepped into the pile of snow and we had to climb the icy trail. Before you make any attempts, make sure to wear the Ice cleats on your waterproof hiking boot and the hiking stick will definitely help.
After we climbed a very steep icy trail, finally we reached to the top, and the Eben Ice cave was standing right in front of us. A sight to behold. What a magnificent cave!
All the cardio work out we did on the way here was paid off. It amazed us even more when we walked inside the cave.
The floor of the cave was very icy and slippery. Ice cleat helped us to maintain the balance and not to land on our back. As we carefully stepped on the slippery ice, we could see the tapering column rising from the floor of the cave and tapering column hanging from the roof of the cave. All made of ice. It formed a perfect shiny stalactite and stalagmite. There are two openings on the cave where you can enter the cave and enjoy what it has to offer.