Tahquamenon Falls in the Winter

The first wide view as we approached the Upper Falls at Tahquamenon Falls State Park

In December several years ago, we had traveled to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to spend Christmas with my Dad. While we were there, we decided to make a trip over to Tahquamenon Falls. Tahquamenon Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. Normally, there’s too much snow on the ground at that time of the year to easily get down to the Falls without cross-country skiing. But, the week before Christmas, the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) got a lot of heavy rain that knocked down the snow levels significantly!

There were only a couple cars in the parking lot when we got to the Upper Falls. The walk over to the stairs leading down to the brink wasn’t too bad. The top of the snow was icy and crunchy, but our feet sank through the surface so it made it easier to walk without slipping. Tahquamenon Falls State Park is open year around and the trails are maintained for cross-country skiing.

By the sound of the rushing water and even before this first glimpse, we knew the Falls weren’t frozen yet.

As always, the first sight of the Upper Falls through the trees is exciting! The temperature on the day we visited was in the high 20s (Fahrenheit). It was an overcast day with a forecast for snow mixed with rain.

There are 94 steps down to the brink. The landings between flights are wood (probably treated), but someone must have salted them because they weren’t too slippery. Each stair is a kind of metal grate that doesn’t allow water to stand, so no ice on the stairs themselves.

The view of the Tahquamenon River shows an ice covering, but it still hadn’t frozen at the base of the Upper Falls

Standing at the brink, the wind was blowing the mist into our faces. It was very windy that day and at a temperature of 28F, it was freezing! The Falls don’t typically freeze completely in the winter. Several years after our visit, there was an ice cap covering the Falls that made it look like it was frozen over, but the water was rushing underneath. I would have loved to see that in person.

At the brink of the Upper Falls in Tahqamenon Falls State Park.

We only spent about 30 minutes down on the platform at the brink. Winter gear is a necessity when visiting Tahquamenon Falls in the winter. Dad was wearing the snow pants and boots that he usually only wore when snow blowing at home.

Dad was heading back up the 94 steps from the brink of the Tahquamenon Upper Falls.

I let Dad walk on ahead to the car so that I could get a few more shots of the Falls. I couldn’t resist! It was just starting to snow when we decided to head back to the car. Tahquamenon Falls is a beautiful place to visit, in any season. Even more breathtaking (literally) on a cold winter day!

My last view of the Tahquamenon Upper Falls on a snowy December day.

Please visit Beautiful Sun Photography to view the Tahquamenon Falls photographs. All photographs are available for sale in a variety of print sizes and can be printed for framing, or on canvas, acrylic, or wood. No room on your walls for art? All images can be used to make a one-of-a-kind photo gift – shower curtains, duvets, phone cases, puzzles, and much more.

My Dad was heading back to the car after a winter photoshoot at the Upper Falls at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Michigan.

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