The Paterson Great Falls is a marvel in itself; a dose of nature in an urban setting. The facility surrounding the falls was first built in 1792 as a source of energy for various mills in the area. Using these falls, Alexander Hamilton planned on making Patterson the first industrial city in America. Today, it is a national historic park dedicated to the rich history surrounding the beautiful falls and the city itself.
What to Expect
When we first arrived at the parking lot there is a staircase towards th
e back of the lot that leads down to a view of the entire original mill and the bridge that leads to the Paterson Falls. To get the waterfall, Jack and I walked out of the parking lot the way we came in. We walked along the sidewalk to the right until we reached a parking at the intersection of Wayne Avenue and McBride Avenue. From there, a metal fence in the back of the lot opens up to a bridge that crosses a small stream.
Once there, we walked across another bridge that extends over a waterfall underneath and gives way to a nice view of the Passai
c River. We kept walking to the main viewing area that is at the bottom of a small set of stairs that allowed us to get a perfect view of the frozen waterfalls in all of its glory.
It was very cold out but the sight of a frozen waterfall in an urban setting was well worth the weather conditions. It will usually have a fair amount of visitors there but if done in the cold like us there will be less people willing to brave the temperature. However, in all seasons the Patterson Falls never disappoints.
Heading East on Route 80 towards New York City we took exit onto Exit NJ-19 N. From there we kept right and turned left at the intersection onto Grand Street. We then made a right onto Spruce Street. Then we made one more right onto McBride Ave and the parking lot is immediately to the left.
There is only one parking lot, the one on McBride Ave. Once parked you will have to exit the parking lot and walk on the sidewalk to reach the bridge to the destination.