Open water: Madeline Island Watches, Worries as Winter Climate Shifts

by Dan Kraker of MPRNEWS Feb 13, 2017

There ought to be a road here, made of ice. Lake Superior should be frozen solid, and the Island Queen should be snug in dry dock for the winter.

But there’s no road this winter, nothing’s solid and though it’s February, the Island Queen is still working in open water, making the 25-minute trip between Bayfield and the town of La Pointe on Madeline Island eight times a day.

Typically, by this time in the winter, the ice is thick enough to support an “ice road” from Bayfield to Madeline Island. This year, though, the ferry will run all winter long, for the second year in a row, and third year in the past six.

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