• Paterson Great Falls

    Paterson Great Falls

    National Historical Park New Jersey

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  • Take a guided walking tour or tune in to the free app.

    Join us for a guided tour held daily at 11AM and 3PM. Meet us at the Alexander Hamilton statue at 72 McBride Avenue. Interested in a self-guided opportunity? Download the free app. Learn more about both options and we'll see you soon. More »

  • Only one portion of the park is closed - Mary Ellen Kramer Park

    Due to a landscape improvement project, a section of the park, Mary Ellen Kramer Park, and the pedestrian bridge crossing the chasm is closed. Project may be completed early in 2015. The Great Falls can still be viewed at Overlook Park, 72 McBride Ave.

Paterson's Geology - A Step Back in Time

Geologically speaking, Paterson's past is a varied and exciting one. Volcanic lava flows, upheavals, even the break-up of the supercontinent Pangaea - these events are all part of this area's geologic pre-history. The Falls and other natural features in Paterson give us clues to parts of this story. As you walk over the Falls, through Upper Raceway Park, and around the Great Falls Historic District, you'll see some of these clues.

 
View of the Great Falls and basaltic cliffs
A view of the Great Falls and basaltic cliffs.
V. Scott - NPS PHOTO
 

"The Geology of Paterson, New Jersey with a Field Guide" will help you understand what you are looking at; you will learn how prehistoric forces formed this environment, that in turn led to the establishment of the city of Paterson itself.

Did You Know?

William Paterson

The city of Paterson was named for William Paterson, the governor of New Jersey who signed the charter for S.U.M.? The city was named before a site for it was chosen! More...