ontario ice caves

Ontario ice caves ranked one of the top places to visit in the world

The New York Times just dropped its ultra prestigious annual list of "52 Places to Go" in the world, and one of the spots to make the cut is right in your own backyard... relatively speaking.

Aside from Calgary, the scenic ice caves along Lake Superior's northern shore are the only destination in Canada to have made NYT's influential travel guide this year.

"The ice caves that emerge from the winds and waves that pound the north shore of Lake Superior have always been somewhat ephemeral," writes Ian Austen for The Times. "But climate change has now brought an element of doubt into their future."

Well that's sad, but for now visitors can still enjoy caves made of snow and ice in varying sizes, shapes and colours.

"Large waves before they freeze up — on Superior they can reach upward of 20 feet — are the essential ingredient for large caverns," explains Austen of the rare phenomena near Sault Ste. Marie. "The wind, shifts in the ice and the effects of the sun constantly remake the formations. February is the most reliable month for a visit."

The caves a bit of a hike from Toronto, but still way closer than most of the other destinations on this year's list of 52 places (like Uzbekistan, The Azores and Chongli, China.)

That said, if you're down for an eight or nine hour drive, you likely won't regret the trip.

You can access the network of icy fortresses from the Trans-Canada Highway. Alona Bay and Coppermine Point are said to be two of the more popular entry points, but the fine folks at Stokely Creek Lodge can tell you which caves are the coolest and most accessible on any given day.

Lead photo by

Normandy Lodge


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