Park Tours and Special Programs

Picture overlooking the Great Falls and a rainbow from the bridge in Mary Ellen Kramer Park
You will often find a rainbow over the Great Falls on a sunny summer day.

© Terry McKenna

Visiting the Park

Visitors Please Note: In cases of inclement weather such as cold, dangerous thunderstorms or extreme heat, a talk in the Welcome Center will replace the walking tour.

Welcome Center Hours:

  • Starting on July 8, 2018 the Welcome Center will be open from 9:00AM - 5:00PM for the summer season as staffing permits.
  • Starting on July 9, 2018 tours will be scheduled for 11:00AM and 2:00PM seven days per week for the summer season. As the summer progresses, our program offerings will expand.
  • Please check the alerts or contact the park before you visit to receive the latest updates regarding changes to programming schedule and weather closures. Call 973-523-0370 Monday-Friday, or call the Welcome Center at 973-523-2210 Saturday-Sunday.

School Programming

Interested in a tour of the Great Falls with your students? Visit our Education Page to learn more about our programs and set up a reservation.

Guided Tour: A Stroll Through History

Join a tour and discover the greater story behind Paterson and its Great Falls. Our story is one of national importance. It demonstrates that the natural and cultural diversity of the area helped fuel the economic and social growth of a young nation. Discover how the natural world inspired a founding father, entrepeneurs, immigrants, poets, and artists to build the nation's first planned industrial city and changed the world.


  • Meet at the Welcome Center at 65 McBride Avenue Extension.
  • Appropriate for adults and families.
  • Please wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing. Wear sturdy shoes/sneakers.
  • In most cases, tours will be conducted rain or shine, however, in cases of severe weather, such as snow storms, nor'easters, dangerous electrical storms, and extreme heat, tours will be canceled or changed to a talk in the Welcome Center. Walking tours will last 45-minutes to 1-hour over a distance of one mile.
  • Guided tours led by the National Park Service, or its partners, can follow paved, wheelchair-accessible routes (assistance may be required, especially along narrow city sidewalks). If you have any concerns, please call the office at 973-523-0370 or the Welcome Center at 973-523-2210.
  • If you are interested in making a reservation for a guided group tour, please visit our Permits and Reservations page.


Ranger's Choice Programs

Join us Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00PM, as staffing permits, in our Welcome Center (located at 65 McBride Avenue Extension) for a special Ranger Talk. The Ranger of the day will talk on one of the topics listed below.

The Paterson Strikes

Learn about an uncommon piece of Paterson history. Explore the Riot of 1901 and 1902, as well as other notable protests in Paterson history. These riots had a deep impact on the people of the city and the lives of Paterson mill workers. Join us as we have an in-depth conversation about the significance of worker strikes. This program is geared towards adults.

The History of Paterson Locomotives

From 1832 through 1914, the Rogers, Grant and Cooke Locomotive manufacturers of Paterson, NJ produced more than half of all the steam locomotives in the world. More than 10,000 of these engineering marvels were created here in Paterson, NJ using the water power of the Raceway system. These “Iron Horses” helped to sculpt industry and expansion in a growing nation. Giving America the ability to transport products and people across vast distances in record times. Transportation, enterprise, westward expansion and even our national parks can trace their roots back to the railroads! Join us in a comprehensive history lesson of the production of Paterson locomotives along with the wide spread effect the steam engine had in early America. All Aboard!

When One Shot Wasn't Enough

The colt revolver, the leading gun that won the west during the 1800’s which led to the success of the colt family. Samuel Colt, the inventor of the Colt revolver began his legacy in the city also creating its vast industrial legacy, Paterson, NJ. However, the tides change as different obstacles begin to arise creating many successes or many failures. Join us as the history of the famous colt revolver comes into fruition and later leaves an impact not only in the United States but also in Paterson, NJ. Lastly, the ranger choice will include a trip to the Paterson Museum where the third largest collection of original Paterson Colts are displayed.


Self-Guided Walking Tour

Listen to the history of Paterson as you stroll along at your own pace. Download the free walking tour app called the "Mill Mile" or dial into the cell phone tour.


Visit the Paterson Museum

The Paterson Museum, located at 2 Market Street, has the following regular hours of operation. Parking is available on-site for Museum patrons, or you can park your vehicle at the park and walk. The Museum is about 2 minutes away.

Hours of Operation:

  • Monday-Friday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM
  • Saturday-Sunday: 12:30PM - 4:30PM
  • CLOSED: Federal and City Holidays, please contact the Museum directly for more information at 973-321-1260.

City Holidays:
New Year's Day
Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Day
President's Day
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Memorial Day
Fourth of July
Labor Day (call the Friday before for specific hours)
Columbus Day
Election Day
Veteran's Day
The Friday after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve (call that day for specific hours)
Christmas Day


Last updated: September 11, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

72 McBride Avenue
Paterson, NJ 07501


(973) 523-2210

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