New Jersey has its own epic waterfalls, The Great Falls, located in the middle of Paterson, our state’s third-largest city. I’ve driven by the falls many times, but never even saw them. Why? If you’ve ever driven in Paterson, N.J. you know why: Take your eyes off the cars slamming on their brakes in front of you, blink at the jaywalking pedestrians and you’ll end up with a crumpled fender. Or worse. So, no, I never took my eyes off the potential mayhem on McBride Ave. to peep at the falls.
And until the August edition of Inside Jersey came out I didn’t much think about visiting The Great Falls…until I read Peter Genovese‘s article. When I read his description of the 2 billion gallons of water a day that cascade down the rocks located just off McBride Ave. I was hooked. The Falls are part of a National Historic Landmark District and a state park. With the Great Falls Historic District Cultural Center across the street, ample parking and a great entry price — free — it’s definitely worth a visit. I loved feeling the mist on my face. I loved the thundering sound of the water as it rushed over the rocks and into the pools below. I loved that the park wasn’t packed to the gills with people. It’s a lovely oasis in the midst of a hot city.
My son Max and I wandered all through the area. We checked out the hydro power plant, walked (okay, I inched since I’m afraid of heights!) across the pedestrian bridge over the falls, walked down to the water’s edge, peeped in the Great Falls Historic Cultural Center window. And then we walked over to another historic landmark in Paterson — Libby’s Lunch — for hot dogs!
Do you have a local hot dog joint that you think could rival Libby’s?