Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, New Jersey

A powerful 77-foot waterfall is a sight to see on the side of the road. Pull over to stop and visit the overlook park to admire its majesty.

Great Falls is not your average waterfall revered simply for its beauty or height, but rather its historical significance. Great Falls National Historical Park [72 McBride Avenue Paterson, NJ 07501] was created to tell the story of Paterson, America’s first planned industrial city established in 1791. Alexander Hamilton saw the potential to harvest the power from the waterfall for industrial use and thus New Jersey would begin to produce cotton for clothing, locomotives for trains, paper for books, and more.

These industries created many jobs for immigrant workers who faced the harsh conditions of factory life – setting the stage for the labor movement. Walk along the Passaic River to see the Textile Printing ruins. Closer to the falls view the hydroelectric plant that works to power the city today.

Take a stroll over the pedestrian bring to get a better view of the falls from Mary Ellen Kramer Park.

Here you can get up close and person with the falls and see how it disappears into the chasm.

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Come for the waterfall, stay for the history. Great Falls is worth a stop when passing through Paterson, the site is free for all to visit.

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