This week, I spent a free day traveling through the Upper Peninsula. My goal was to visit two spectacular winter sites in the region.
It was a bitterly cold day, the highest temperature I saw on my car’s readout was 2ºF. I bundled up as warmly as I could, yet with every breath I could feel the sting of chill in my lungs.
I am starting with the second stop on my journey, Tahquamenon Falls. I am still editing the photographs of the first stop, and it will take a few days of writing to be able to do the story justice.
If you have visited Michigan and have never seen the falls, you are doing yourself a great disservice. This is one of the state’s true natural treasures.
There are actually two sets of falls on the Tahquamenon River. The lower falls are a series of small waterfalls, the highest just over 10′ tall. The upper falls cascade over a stunning painted rock cliff 200′ across and 48′ tall.
By the time I reached Tahquamenon Falls State Park, the sun was beginning to set. I knew I only had time to visit one of the falls, so I chose the more famed Upper Falls. With the temperatures fall below 0ºF for the past month or two, I knew there was a chance the falls may be frozen. If so, the Upper Falls would most likely make for more stunning photographs.
When I arrived at the park, there were only two cars in the parking lot and no one on the trails. I had the place to myself.
After capturing a few images from the forest path, I made my way down the 98 steps to the viewing platform. The majority of the falls and the river below the falls, were frozen over. The water poured heavily over the cliff, disappearing beneath the ice. It was odd to see the normally 200′ of cliff face narrowed to only 10′. It was stranger still to see the water disappear beneath the ice. I decided to take a few second videos in order to share the experience.