Yesterday, my friend Jean (Super Jean) sent me a text and a few photos of her and the family out at Minnehaha Falls. They were so pretty and it was a gorgeous day that she inspired Nate and I to do the same. We have never been out there in the winter and thought it would make a nice fieldtrip for this afternoon.
Minnehaha Falls is a 53-foot waterfall located in Minneapolis in Minnehaha Park on Minnehaha Creek, a tributary of the Mississippi River. The Falls are located near the creek’s main stem with the Mississippi River, not far from Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
While the name is often translated as “Laughing Water”, the correct translation is “curling water” or “waterfall.” The name comes from the Dakota language elements mni,meaning water, and ȟaȟa, meaning waterfall, Thus the expression “Minnehaha Falls” translates as “Waterfall Falls. ” The “Laughing Water” translation comes from Mary Eastman’s book Dahcotah, published in 1849.
Today, the falls are located near the entrance of Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. The 193-acre park is divided into two main portions: an upper section above the falls which is kept trimmed and maintained like many other city parks, and the lower section which is largely left in a natural state which is largely popular for free climbing due to the steep terrain.
Due to the extremely cold temperatures in the area during the winter months, the falls freeze, creating a dramatic cascade of ice that can last well into the spring. If there is a rain shortage in the autumn, the falls may virtually dry up. In the summer, especially in the rainy months of June and July, the flow can be surprisingly forceful.
We did walk down the scary and a bit icy path to get to the bottom of the falls. The only set of stairs that takes you down there had a sign across it saying…Closed. Oh well, everyone else is down there, so off we went and climbed over it. Once we got down there, it was beautiful and just plain amazing! The falls have this pretty blue tint to them and the ice is so thick, you want to go up and touch it. On a sunny day, the falls look like they are lit up with blue lights because of the reflections. Today it is cloudy, but I did see some pictures of this while researching for my blog.
You are able to get in behind the falls, but Nate and I chose to stay on the other side today because it was a pretty muddy and slippery path to climb. We saw many people sliding and falling on their “behinds” and we aren’t risk takers, so we opted to play it safe.
We really enjoyed our trip today. The last time we were at Minnehaha Falls, was this past September for Megan’s homecoming pictures. It sure looks a lot different in winter!
Thanks again Jean for the inspiration to get out and embrace winter!!