Bill Frische Landscapes
Minnesota is known for its waterfalls along the north shore of Lake Superior. But there are are other, lesser known waterfalls much closer to the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area. In fact, several waterfalls are hidden right in the metro area, but you need to know where to go look for them. I'm going to outline several of the lesser known waterfalls in the area so you can visit them too.
#10 Caron Falls
Caron falls is perhaps my most photographed waterfall. I have been visiting here since I started photography and i use this falls to help me measure how I'm getting better (or worse!). The falls itself is about 4-5 feet high and the log you see from the top left to the right now has twisted to be straight over the top of the falls.
This falls is located Caron Park, near Northfield Minnesota. Park in the parking lot and walk down the main trail. As a bonus, on the right hand side of the trail there is a smaller falls called - informally I think - Wellstone falls named after late Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone.
Hidden Falls in IRChrome
#8 Hidden Falls #2
Nestled in the heart of downtown, Hidden Falls is a well controlled waterfall in a nice park called aptly "Hidden Falls Regional Park." There are three entrances to the park and you will want to park at the farthest north one - go past the south entrance, go past the north entrance, and then turn left into the next parking lot. A little bit south on the paved trail you will find some stairs going down to iit. At the bottom of the stairs, turn left and walk up the ravine. A short (<.25 miles) walk and you will run right into it.
This waterfall was part of the Civilian Conservation Corp during the Great Depression and most of the stonework was built during this time. You will find places along the stream where the stonework is starting to get overgrown or falling over. Walking up to Hidden Falls is like walking back through time.
Note the layers of rocks around the waterfall on the right and the left of the main fall. This is an example of the stone earthenwork that the corp created. There are images of this area from the late 1930's where parties where held here with electric lights lining up and down that falls.
I think when the Ford plant was built across the street above the falls this one started to be a less desirable location.
Caron Falls near Northfield Minnesota, A7RIV with 70-200mm and 10 stop ND polarizer.
#9 Hidden Falls #1
Coming in at number 9 is Hidden Falls #1 in Nerstrand State Park. I call it #1 because there are at least three Hidden Falls that I know about in the Minneapolis area.
While it is about 11 miles away from Caron falls, it is a significantly larger falls than Caron Falls measuring about 12 feet high at its tallest point. This waterfall is often more crowded than Caron Falls as well, especially since Covid-19 forced everyone outdoors into the forests and parks in Minnesota.
The image on the right is my favorite image of the falls. It was take with a full spectrum camera and the Kolari Vision IRChrome filter that mimics the old infrared Aerochrome that was developed during the Vietnam water.
Hidden Falls #2, St Paul