Minnesota winters create stunning Lake Superior ice formations and offer new vistas of one of our most popular Minnesota attractions.
We are often asked: "does Lake Superior ice over in winter." The answer is: "very rarely." The lake is so large that an ice sheet covering the entire lake happens only in the coldest of winters.
Below normal temperatures for much of the winter of 2008-2009 did cause the ice to cover nearly all of Lake Superior. Only small areas of open water remained.
A relatively rare blanket of ice rested on the surface of Lake Superior in early March 2009. On March 3, 2009 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of the lake and its surroundings.
Some daring scuba divers venture below the ice of Lake Superior in winter. Here is a video of what it looks like scuba diving Lake Superior under the ice on the greatest of lakes.
When the conditions are right, as they have been in recent winters, the ice on Lake Superior freezes to a depth that allows visitors to experience the wonders of the ice caves that form along the great lake.
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Enjoy Winter Activities
in Minnesota State Parks