Frozen Waterfalls and Winter Hikes


When a friend from Atlanta asked if we could go to “that frozen waterfall,” I jumped at the chance. The “Real Feel” temperature was -12, but we bundled up and headed out.

Minnehaha Falls is one of the oldest and most popular parks in Minneapolis. It became one of the first state parks in the United States when it was purchased by Minneapolis in 1889, only New York had created a state park at that time. The name Minnehaha comes from the words in the Dakota language which mean waterfall and the park is listed on the National Register of Historic places. If you haven’t been there, you should – and consider doing it in the middle of winter. The views from the top were striking:minnehaha falls

minnehaha falls

We braved the stairs (more like snow slides) and started hiking in to get a closer view. It looks like we aren’t the only ones who have a hard winter:
fallen trees

With the cold, I was amazed to find pockets of open water along the way:

The view from the ground was amazing too:
minnehaha falls

We didn’t risk the terrain to get any closer, but decided to head towards the Mississippi River instead. It was overcast and the landscape seemed so black and white:
frozen stream

bridge and woods


There was no movement on the Mississippi River:
mississippi river

Up river, the Lock and Dam was frozen:
lock and dam

We started the walk back and I was happy to see signs of life:
animal tracks

frozen stream

And just in case you’re wondering, this is how one prepares for frigid hikes in Minnesota winters:
dressed for winter


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Heidi Van Heel

Heidi Van Heel

Writer, freelancer, and believer in magic living in Minneapolis. In my free time, I love reading, exploring the great outdoors, and experimenting in the kitchen.

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