• Paterson Great Falls

    Paterson Great Falls

    National Historical Park New Jersey

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  • Interested in Reserving a Tour

    Are you planning to visit Paterson Great Falls this winter? If so, plan ahead and make a reservation in advance for the free orientation tour - A Stroll Through History. More »

  • Mary Ellen Kramer Park Closure Announcement from the City of Paterson

    Due to landscape improvement project, Mary Ellen Kramer Park, landing & footbridge will be closed on November 4, 2013. The project may be completed by end of 2014. Reservations for NPS programs will still be taken. Falls can be viewed from Overlook Park

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?

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton, founder of Paterson, faced great opposition to his ideas for an industrial America? Many government leaders, including Thomas Jefferson, believed the new nation should base its economy, and could grow powerful, through agriculture – growing what it needed and selling the surplus.