There are waterfalls in New Jersey

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park - A waterfall in the middle of New Jersey

You are just curving through the streets of Paterson, New Jersey in the traffic chaos, then suddenly you are in the inconspicuous parking lot of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. At this point it is still difficult to imagine that the second largest waterfall in the northeast is only a few meters away.

When Alexander Hamilton (one of the "Founding Fathers" of the USA) visited the falls in 1778, he was impressed by its potential for industry and worked to ensure that Paterson became the nations' first planned industrial city. Only a few years later a burgeoning milling industry developed in the city, which ensured that the place played a large role in the further industrial development of New Jersey.

- Updated April 2021 -

For us, the day started very early again, because we have to drive over 6 1/2 hours by car from Niagara Falls to New York, drop off our rental car at the airport and finally return to New York City by public transport come to our motel.

But despite the rather tight schedule, we definitely want to make a short stop in New Jersey at the Paterson Great Falls on the way.

After six hours on the interstate and a few kilometers through the slow city traffic of Paterson, we arrive at the (free) parking lot at Overlook Park (72 McBride Avenue Extension) shortly after half past one.

The park is open all year round and entry is free.

At the edge of the parking lot you can already take a first look at the Paterson Great Falls, but you should invest another five minutes on foot to get to the Mary Allan Kramer Park, from where you have a great view of the waterfalls and the Passaic River .

But you can also take really nice photos of the bridge, which you could already see from the parking lot.

You can find more information about the Paterson Great Falls on the National Park Service website.

Then we head back to the car and through the city traffic to our motel in Jersey City. Once there, we briefly unload our luggage and then immediately continue on our way to the airport.

But even though we avoid the drive through Manhattan, we are stuck in traffic for ages and need over 1 1/2 hours for the 50 kilometers. Only the sight of the Verrazano Bridge - familiar from the beginning of our trip - cheers us up a little.

The rental car delivery then works as usual without any problems and quickly, so that we can make our way back promptly and after two more hours with various trains and overcoming some (construction) diversions at 7.15 p.m. we finally arrive back at our motel.