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      Thousands journey to Lake Michigan to see ice caves

      Thousands of people are making their way to Leelanau County this winter to check out the beautiful ice caves that Mother Nature has created on the shores of Lake Michigan, just north of Leland.

      With the crowds, has also come a lot of traffic down North Gills Pier Road. The Leelanau County Sheriff's Department is asking that people park on the east side of the road to leave a lane open for emergency vehicles, and others to travel the road. They also say to avoid parking near the intersection of North Gills Pier and Onominese Roads to help relieve some of the congestion there.

      They've also posted signs warning people of the potential dangers of being out on the ice, but it hasn't caused many to turn away from this winter wonderland.

      "We're just so amazed that we get to experience this this year because being residents of northern Michigan, we've never seen this before," said Laura Walker, who was visiting from Traverse City.

      The caves come in all different shapes and sizes and people from all over the country have come to see them.

      Leon Roullard was visiting from California and decided to take a trip with his friends to see the ice caves on Monday.

      "It's amazing," said Roullard "...... we certainly don't get this in California"

      The O'Gorman's planned their trip to northern Michigan last summer, and say they never expected that something like the ice caves would become a part of their trip.

      "It was really icy," said Liam O'Gorman. "You could go in the caves and there's all these icicles hanging around."

      "I thought it was really cool," said Megan O'Gorman. "I really liked sliding out on the ice, that was fun."

      If the volume of traffic continues or gets worse, the Sheriff's Office with the assistance of Northport Fire Department may put in place traffic points to control traffic flow and ensure access into the area.