Cave Point’s Icy Cliffs

Early Winter Ice Formations

Early Winter Ice Formations

We decided to stop at Cave Point County Park before we ended our long week-end in Door County and headed south back to Madison and the end of a long and busy holiday season. We have never been to Door County in the winter, and so I’d never had the opportunity to see the legendary ice formations on these limestone cliffs overhanging Lake Michigan. Pounded by the frigid northern waters, I can imagine these icy formations are only beginning to form. Imagine what another eight weeks or so of below freezing winter temperatures will do to these cliffs. I am already considering a return trip in March if the weather stays cold – a rather safe bet in this locale.

I won’t discuss (too much) how I didn’t really get the photograph I wanted, mostly because my Sherpa kept grabbing at my pack and pulling me away from the edge of the cliff. I want to make it clear for the record – at no time was I dangerously close to the edge and I always made sure I had good footing. Even I am not foolish enough to tempt fate on these high ledges. Nor did the icy waters below didn’t appear too inviting for an unplanned swim. But Sherpa has a decided fear of heights – a fear we do not share – and so he was quite vocal about his opposition to my photo plans.

We hadn’t planned on an extended stop, and with the winds already blustery and the temperatures dropping, I agreed this probably wasn’t the right time for a prolonged photo shoot. We weren’t really adequately dressed, plus we had a five hour drive home ahead of us, and we’d been taking photos non-stop for three days. Neither of us wanted to push our endurance before the drive home.

I look at the photographs I did get, and think how spectacular these icy cliffs might become given a couple more months of below freezing weather and the relentless pounding from Lake Michigan’s surf.

Yes, indeed! Another weekend trip to Door County in March is beginning to sound like a great plan.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I love the series of waves you’ve captured. I’m sure the water was warmer than the air, but I agree you probably don’t want to take a swim at this time of year.

  2. Love the pictures…it seems the trees and you have the same feeling about heights. I can’t wait to see the March photo’s with ice.

  3. OMG! (again) Bo, you have outdone yourself. Wisconsin has such beauty and you are obviously extremely skilled in capturing each facet. Well done!

  4. This is incredible..

  5. Beautiful image and scene Bo, I would love to be able to spend some time shooting there, well done !!

  6. Wowzers! That is a gorgeous capture! I love the colors and composition. Those ice formations are great! We have them on the cliff banks of some of the creeks here. I have yet to venture to take any photos of them, though. Bitterly cold! I’m not afraid of heights when out photographing and P is usually pulling me back…. so I know what you mean. šŸ™‚

  7. That’s a gorgeous shot Bo! I’d love to have a chance to go there: hope it works out for you in March!

  8. wow!

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