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Waterfalls in New Jersey

Spring showers bring thunderous waterfalls

Great Falls in Paterson, NJSpring showers bring more than just beautiful flowers. A few good rainstorms help to turn trickling waterfalls into thunderous ones, and New Jersey has more than 20 waterfalls for you to discover.

The largest, and perhaps the most well known, is the Great Falls of the Passaic in Paterson (shown in photo). It is the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River (after Niagara), plunging 70 feet over a rocky ledge into the trap rock and sandstone below.

“Great Falls is absolutely spectacular when it’s really, really flowing,” says Glenn Hutton, community relations aide for the Great Falls Historic District Cultural Center. But, he adds, “The strength of the waterfall depends on the amount of precipitation we get or don’t get.”

Also best seen after a wet winter is Silver Spray Falls in the Delaware Water Gap, in Walpack Township, Sussex County. “Silver Spray Falls is surely among the prettiest in New Jersey—free-falling over the red rocks of the Kittatinny Ridge through a glen of hemlock and mountain laurel,” writes Gary Letcher in Waterfalls of the Mid-Atlantic States (Countryman Press, 2004). Out of the way and “difficult to find” along the Hidden Falls Trail, Letcher insists it’s worth the effort to hike there, calling Silver Spray Falls the most “photogenic falls” in New Jersey.

Letcher also recommends the Shore Trail leading to Greenbrook Falls in Tenafly as a “truly remarkable hike.” The Hudson River and the skyscrapers of New York are on one side, and the cliffs of the Palisades are on the other.

Boonton Falls in the Morris County village of Boonton was once the strength behind the New Jersey Iron Company, built in the early 1800s. According to Letcher, the falls provided a popular, yet dangerous, swimming hole for local youth, with a number of swimmers losing their lives on the rocks or in the pool below. In the 1950s, “the city dynamited the rocks around the falls, shortening its height and filling the channel with rocks” to make it safer, says Letcher.

Called one of the best-kept secrets in Waterfalls of the Mid-Atlantic, Bridal Veil Falls in North Haledon (Passaic County) is said to be dazzling after a good rain, and easy to reach. In winter, the falls freezes into a stack of huge icicles.A trail leads behind the waterfall, and your children are sure to enjoy this water “cave" of falling water. 

So are you ready for a great hike? Don your water-resistant hiking boots and your sense of adventure as you search out these spectacular examples of New Jersey’s lesser-known natural resources.

Bergen County

Essex County

Hunterdon County

Monmouth County

  • Tinton Falls, Tinton Falls (the overlook by the falls is located at 741 Tinton Ave.)

Morris County

Passaic County

Sussex County/Delaware Water Gap region

Warren County/Delware Water Gap region

Do you know about a waterfall in New Jersey that we don’t have listed? Leave us a note in Comments!

Old to new | New to old
Jan 29, 2012 10:58 am
 Posted by  LucyB-Admin

One of our readers, Adam Guild, wrote to us with this comment:

"The Bridal Veil Falls in North Haledon is in William Paterson College in the woods off of entrance 6..It's best to park in the small strip mall at the bottom and walk a block up into College grounds ..After a good rain you can hear the falls to your left..It is not found in the Delaware Water Gap. nor is North Haledon within 50 miles of the DWG...

There is a Buttermilk Falls found at the back end of The Delaware Water Gap, which is a very close to Silver Spray or as we call it Secret Falls."

Mr. Guild is working on a guide of NJ waterfalls (as of 6/2008).

Jul 3, 2013 10:15 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Are any handicap-accessible?

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