5 Must-See Waterfalls in New Jersey
There are many reasons people flock to Buttermilk Falls to say, “I do.” With a grand, 85-foot display, it’s the tallest waterfall in the state, and it’s become a popular proposal destination for many Jersey boys. Located in Walpack Township and part of the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area, Buttermilk Falls is one of New Jersey’s most-visited waterfalls. It’s visible when you enter the parking lot, and you can find more scenic views by climbing the nearby wooden stairway to the top of the majestic cascade.
Paterson Great Falls
The Great Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the United States and the second-largest waterfall by volume east of the Mississippi, surpassed only by Niagara Falls. Formed during the last Ice Age, the falls became a national landmark as the centerpiece of Paterson, America’s first planned industrial city under the vision of Alexander Hamilton. Park near the visitors’ center, where you’ll see the powerful falls right in front of you, and then walk up the path to the overlook bridge and you’ll actually feel the immense force of the 77-foot falls. And we can’t forget to mention the many love-locks on the fence of the overlook. Hmm, falls and love seem to go hand in hand!
If you want to combine sightseeing and a little bit of exercise, Hemlock Falls is the way to go. It’s an easy hike to the 25-foot waterfall, which is located in the South Mountain Reservation, in Essex County. Park in the Tulip Springs parking area, and you’ll be there in less than a mile. Climb the funky stone steps to the top of the waterfall, and sit on the benches to enjoy the majesty of the view. You can also enjoy views of New York City from the eastern ridge of the reservation.
Boonton Falls is located in a former industrial town where waterfalls used to generate power—like Paterson Falls, but on a smaller scale. These falls are at the north
end of Grace Lord Park, where there are walking paths along the east and west banks of Rockaway River. The falls are located right near Main Street downtown, an up-and-coming area with many cafés and food stops, so when you visit you have the added benefit of outdoor dining. You can eat “in” at a sidewalk table, or get food to go and bring it to the picnic benches in the park, and then work off your meal at the climbable rock formation with views of the falls.
The 250-foot Greenbrook Falls offers both a robust hiking experience and spectacular views. Located in Greenbrook Sanctuary, a 165-acre woodland preserve on top of the Palisades, in Tenafly and Alpine, the falls are surrounded by seven miles of marked trails. Hike the trails and you’ll likely see abundant wildlife, and at the top of the falls you’ll be rewarded with views of the Hudson River and the New York skyline from one side, and of the Palisades from the other. A modestly priced annual membership (required of visitors) helps pay for the sanctuary’s upkeep.