Maine's Year-Round Ice Caves Are Beautifully Surreal
The Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area is located just south of Baxter State Park in Penobscot County, Maine.
While the site becomes a frozen wonderland each winter, there is one area that remains mysteriously icy almost all year-round.
It is known as the Debsconeag Ice Cave and it was created during the ice age when massive glaciers pushed two boulders together.
There are metal rungs for climbing down into the cave area, but use caution as they are often coated with ice unless it is a warm spring or summer day.
No matter what time of year you visit, the cold will hit you as soon as you enter the cave so dress accordingly.
The area was named Debsconeag by American natives because the word means "carrying place" and was once used as a portage site where they carried their birch bark canoes around rapids and waterfalls.
In addition to the fantastic ice-walled cave, the Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area is home to "the highest concentration of pristine, remote ponds in New England, as well as thousands of acres of mature forests," according to The Nature Conservancy which owns and protects the 46,271-acre preserve.
The area is a beloved spot for hikers and bird watchers, but those willing to brave the elements in winter experience the added pleasure of viewing nature in the throws of a deep freeze.
It is almost like travelling back through time to the ice age when you witness the pristine flora and fauna coated in ice.
No matter what time of year you visit, the gorgeous Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area belongs on every adventurous New Englander's To-Do list!