PATERSON GREAT FALLS/ANGEL MADISON

New Jersey has more than 20 breathtaking waterfalls just waiting for you and your family to discover. And spring is one of the best times to visit them. If you can venture out after a big rainstorm, you’ll get an even better treat.

The largest, and perhaps the most well known, is the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. 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. The bridge is currently closed, but you can still access the falls.

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 side.

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 some 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 freeze 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 (home to some of the best waterfalls in New Jersey)

Sussex County/Delaware Water Gap region

Warren County/Delaware Water Gap region

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