Visitors risk safety to capture spectacular winter sight of frozen Minnehaha Falls

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Visitors to a Minneapolis park are braving the cold to get up close and personal with one of the most spectacular sights of the Minnesota winter: frozen Minnehaha Falls.

Eager Minnehaha Park-goers are ignoring the safety – and indeed, legal – warnings about climbing over the fences and making their way down to the frozen waterfall, with some sharing atmospheric photos taken from behind the falls.

The Star Tribune points out that it is illegal to climb behind and along the slope of the falls, with "No trespassing" signs clearly marked. Minneapolis' Park Board told the newspaper the descent is dangerous due to moving water and slippery slopes.

FOX 9 reports that the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board was initially unhappy with media reports for failing to highlight the safety and legal risks people are taking by walking down to the falls.

In a statement to FOX 9, the parks board said: "Visitors accessing the falls area by sliding down or using ropes to the gorge's slopes are not only putting themselves at risk for injury, they are also endangering the lives of police and other emergency personnel who will need to respond when an injury does occur.

"In addition to putting themselves and others at risk, individuals behind and at the base of the falls are also trespassing."

St. Paul to plow all residential roads

The recent spate of cold weather has helped Minnehaha Falls freeze over, but starting today things are set to get considerably warmer, with above freezing temperatures predicted.

Officials in St. Paul plan to take advantage of the inevitable snowmelt this will create by plowing all residential streets Thursday and Friday.

Residents are asked to voluntarily move their vehicles off of north/south residential streets Thursday, Jan. 15, and off of east/west residential streets Friday, Jan. 16, to make it possible for snow plows to get through. Crews will plow from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day.

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