The Passaic River Great Falls in Paterson, New Jersey is a stunning natural wonder that has attracted visitors for centuries. Located on the border between Essex and Passaic counties, the river falls from a height of 77 feet over an area of about 1,000 feet wide. It is one of the most impressive waterfalls east of the Mississippi and was once used to power early American industry.
Details about Passaic Falls / Paterson Great Falls
Today, it serves as both a recreational spot and an important historical landmark. The cascading waters make for beautiful views year-round with plenty of opportunities for fishing or boating nearby. Those interested in learning more can take part in guided tours offered by local organizations such as Great Falls Historical Society or visit during annual events like “Great Falls Festival Day” which usually takes place every June.
There are several walking trails throughout this park that offer stunning views of both nature and man-made features such as bridges and dams constructed during industrialization efforts in past centuries. Paterson’s Great Falls also provides access to activities such as fishing, kayaking, canoeing or simply enjoying a picnic lunch under one of many overlooks found within this park’s boundaries.
History of Paterson Great Falls
The falls are part of the Passaic River and were integral to the development of industry in America during the 19th century. The area was first developed by Alexander Hamilton who saw potential for water power from this natural resource to power factories. This vision came true when mills and other industries were established along the riverbanks near what is now known as Paterson’s Great Falls.
Directions to Passaic Falls / Paterson Great Falls
Address: 72 McBride Ave Ext, Paterson, NJ 07501
From NYC – Map
1. Take Route 20 East to Paterson, New Jersey.
2. Turn left onto McBride Avenue and follow it until you reach the intersection of McBride Avenue and Spruce Street.
3. Turn right onto Spruce Street and drive for about two miles until you reach the Passaic River Great Falls Park on your left side.
4. Enter the park, turn left at the parking lot entrance, and continue driving until you reach a small bridge that crosses over a stream leading into the Great Falls area of the Passaic River.
5. Cross over this bridge to enter an area with several observation decks around the falls, where you can take in its beauty!