This Waterfall Near Ontonagon Looks Like it’s Gushing Chocolate Milk
Say Victoria Falls to most people and they think of the waterfall in southern Africa that's considered one of the largest in the world. To those in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula near Ontonagon, Victoria Falls means something quite different.
Victoria Falls outside of Rockland in Ontonagon County is the cascade caused by a hydroelectric dam on the Ontonagon River.
Impressive video of raging spring waters through Victoria Dam was shared recently to the Pure UP group on Facebook.
So many commentors on Facebook were quick to point out, as you likely thought as well, the raging waters looked more like chocolate milk than anything else. Many who were familiar with the dam, also pointed out this is not a common sight at Victoria Dam.
dang that's wide open.. heck it wasnt like that week and a half ago
this is what it looks like when the spillway is opened up.....
About Old Victoria and the Dam
Getting to Victoria Dam means passing through the old mining town of Victoria featuring a recreation of the mining days and some ruins. You find the area leaving Rockland on Elm Street west from US 45 where it becomes Victoria Dam Road.
The Victoria Dam Falls, located at a dead end in the road. Follow this guide on the Waterfalls of the Keweenaw site for information on the falls and visiting.
The Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce gives info on the working dam
At Victoria, water from the diversion dam flows through the intake structure at the dam into wood-stave pipeline and steel penstock to the turbines. The force of the water passing through the blades of the 65-inch diameter cast steel wheels drives the turbine and generators to produce electricity.
The Victoria units operate at 300 rpm with a maximum operating head of 215 feet. (Head—the difference in water elevation at the dam and the tailrace or discharge elevation.) With maximum head, a pressure of 93 pounds per square inch (psi) exists at the turbine water wheels.
After the water passes through the turbines, it is discharged into the west branch of the Ontonagon River, then into the main Ontonagon River, and finally into Lake Superior at the Village of Ontonagon.
Victoria Dam Falls Videos and Drone Footage
This footage from spring 2019 shows what the seasonal runoff looked like captured by a drone.
This video gives a feel for the surrounding river and Victoria townsite
This final video certainly proves that spring is the time to see Victoria Falls really raging. From 2017, Upper Peninsula Waterfalls states, "One most impressive flows of water you'll ever see in the UP." We don't disagree.
Nearby in Ontonagon, they have one of those unique Michigan names. Check out these other locales in the state that boggle non-natives and Michiganders alike.
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