Great Falls Paterson, the newest National Park
Paterson Travel Blog› entry 755 of 1090 › view all entries
Paterson is the third largest city of New Jersey, and this city is located almost next to Manhattan. It is less than half an hour drive. Paterson has an industrial past of cotton and silk producing history. Its nickname is therefore "Silk City".
Right inside this city, Paterson has a very unique natural phenomenon: Great Falls of the Passaic River. Great Falls were created 13.000 years after the ice age, when the Passaic River was forced to change course. At Great Falls the Passaic River plunges 23 meters (77 ft) into a crevice that exists between the basalt rocks the river flows over.
The Falls are the reason why Paterson came to life. Initially the Indian Lenape Tribe settled near the falls.
After the 1945s the industry declined leaving the Falls behind, as a natural landmark. An old hydropower plant was modernized and is nowadays still used for the city. A water pipe was constructed to bring water from before the falls into the city. The bridge for this pipe also served pedestrians.
After being a city and state park plans arised to turn the falls and their former industrial surroundings into a National Park. In March 2009 President Obama signed the proposal into law, and after some more funding and arrangements the site was finally accepted on the 7th of November as the 397th national Park: Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park!
The falls had on my wish list for a long time. Since it was amazing weather, temperatures were back near 21° C (70 F) and it was sunny, I decided that today would be that moment. I was pleasantly surprised by the grandeur of the falls. By far no Niagara Falls, but extremely impressive! The sunlight dispersed by the intensive mist of the falls created a huge rainbow. Very nice, and so close to New York City!
More pictures and several movies below!