New Jersey Waterfall Guide
New Jersey may not be the first place you think of for exploring waterfalls but we do have quite a few good ones. The added bonus is that they are often close to trail heads and easy to access for just about anyone. Especially when you add in the Paterson Great Falls which are right in the heart of a historic industrial center. Below is a list summarizing the falls and where they are. Look for links in the descriptions for individual descriptions of where each fall is and how to get to it.
This list is a work in progress so please let me know if you know about a waterfall not on this list and I will work on getting it added! Also be sure to check back for updates.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is home to a nice concentration of fairly large waterfalls. If you are looking for one spot that offers the most bang for your buck you can spend one day exploring this area and the waterfalls it has to offer. I wrote this post here outlining a lot of the details about finding each one.
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
Paterson is mostly known as a center of America’s budding industrial history, but it is also home to the impressively large Paterson Great Falls. The designation of the waterfall as a National Historic Park is a recent occurrence but the addition of a visitor center and convenient parking make visiting this park very easy. The park is small so you don’t need to devote a lot of time to the visit but I would highly recommend making a stop if you are anywhere in the area.
Green Brook Sanctuary
The Green Brook Sanctuary is home to the Green Brook Falls. The Sanctuary is a is a 165-acre woodland preserve on top of the Palisades in Tenafly and Alpine, New Jersey. The Sanctuary is managed and maintained for the use of its members by the Palisades Nature Association, a non-profit organization founded in 1946. The entrance is off U.S. Route 9W, 4.7 miles north of the George Washington Bridge. Membership is required for access to the Sanctuary. Click here for details.
Grace Lord Park
Grace Lord Park is home to the Boonton Falls. Located along the cascading Rockaway River, Grace Lord Park provides a variety of recreational activities, including hiking, birding, and fishing. Boonton Falls is perhaps its most unique attraction which, according to the town’s web site, is rivaled only by the Great Falls of Paterson.
Ramapo Valley County Reservation
The Ramapo Valley County Reservation in Mahwah, NJ is home to the Ramapo Falls. Ramapo Valley County Reservation is a 4000+acre county park located in Mahwah, New Jersey in Bergen County, bordering Ringwood State Park to the north and the Ramapo Mountain State Forest to the south. The park offers hiking along a mountain brook with a waterfall, fishing in the Ramapo River, Scarlet Oak Pond, MacMillan Reservoir, and tent camping. Trails connect to the network of trails in the adjoining state forest and state park. The park also affords carry-in access to the Ramapo River for canoe, kayak and raft owners.
South Mountain Reservation
The South Mountain Reservation, near Orange, NJ in Essex County is home to Hemlock Falls. The falls can be accessed by numerous trails roads and parking areas but a 6 mile hike can be made that takes in views of from historic Washington Rock, Hemlock Falls, and the Rahway River.