Best time to travel to Michigan

Ice Shards on the Great Lakes

The ice cover gets shattered to knife-sharp pieces as spring takes over winter

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Last updated: by Olha Savych
Ice Shards on the Great Lakes in Michigan 2020 - Best Time
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Ice shards can be dangerous, but they surely look stunning! Every year, in late winter to early spring, ice shards on the Great Lakes attract many photographers and nature enthusiasts. The phenomenon can be regularly observed on Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior.

Ice on Lake Huron, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary 2020
Ice on Lake Huron, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
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Shards of blue ice start piling up when temperatures are rising in February, and the thaw causes water underneath the ice to move, pushing it up. Lake Superior, which is the largest of the Great Lakes, gets almost completely frozen over the winter. The ice coverage reaches 90% there during cold winters. Ice shards can be observed along the shore in Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. Duluth, Minnesota, is where locals see it almost every winter.

Snow shards on Lake Superior, Duluth, Minnesota, St. Patricks Day 2018 2020
Snow shards on Lake Superior, Duluth, Minnesota, St. Patricks Day 2018
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Lake Michigan gets covered in ice by 56% in winter. However, you can still see impressive ice shards in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, South Haven, Michigan, and even in Chicago, Illinois. The Straits of Mackinac between Lakes Michigan and Huron usually freezes completely and showcases amazing ice shards in late February. The phenomenon is dependent on the weather and the severity of winters. However, it occurs consistently. If you are lucky to witness it, make sure to be careful and stay away from the deteriorating ice.

Lake Michigan. Chicago 2020
Lake Michigan. Chicago
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