Exploring Lake Superior ice by camera


January brings cold temps on the North Shore, and with the temps comes one of most amazing aspects of living along this freshwater sea: jagged ice formations, thick, wafting clouds of sea smoke, and winter shoreline photography opportunities. The photos almost take themselves it’s so scenic this time of year. At -10 or -20 degrees on any Lake Superior beach, it’s easy to capture dramatic photos on your mobile phone. You’ll find lots of opportunities along Highway 61 for your own North Shore MN winter hikes to an icy shoreline.

Climate change has meant that Lake Superior water is warmer than ever during the winter months. Even with temps at double digits below zero in mid-January, the lake water resists that final nudge to ice. The lake water, about to finally freeze, moves slowly and thickly, but still it would rather evaporate into heavy clouds than turn into solid ice.

Give me more n’ice Lake Superior photos!

There are regional photographers making photos so good you can practically feel the wind chill from the comfort of your indoor computer desk.

Grand Marais photographer Bryan Hansel is always busy…and probably cold…shooting Lake Superior winter photos. If you’re on Facebook, you’ll want to like Bryan Hansel Photography. You’ll get nearly daily photos from the North Shore, including a lot of great shoreline ice photos in winter. Bryan also teaches a Lake Superior Winter Photography Workshop.

Also on Facebook, take a look at the group North Shore Tribe and Superior Pics of the Lake Superior Region for daily doses of winter ice. And don’t miss Travis Novitsky of Grand Portage, who takes great shoreline shots and posts them in his Superior Winter gallery, as well.

Explore the shoreline on your own in winter

Come on down to the lakeshore in January, February, or March and you’ll find dramatic, one-of-a-kind ice formations almost everywhere you look. In Duluth, Park Point is easy to get to; just cross the Aerial Lift Bridge and drive five more blocks to the beach access parking lot at the “S-curve” of Franklin Park. Farther up the shore, check out Two Harbors’ Lighthouse Point, the beach at Gooseberry Falls State Park, or Artist’s Point in Grand Marais. 


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One Response

  1. Nice pics! And, thanks for the referrals to Bryan Hansel and Travis Novitsky.

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