What is the first place that comes to mind while thinking about waterfalls? Is it New Jersey?
New Jersey might not be the first place on your mind when you think about stunning cascades, but this beautiful state is home to some impressive waterfalls.
From the northern Highlands to the southern Pine Barrens, there are enchanting waterfalls tucked away in the diverse landscapes of the Garden State. In this article, we will explore the 17 best waterfalls in New Jersey, highlighting their unique features, trail lengths, nearby attractions, and activities visitors can enjoy.
From outdoor enthusiasts to a person simply seeking a peaceful escape, these waterfalls are sure to captivate your senses.
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One of New Jersey’s most beautiful waterfalls is Buttermilk Falls. It is situated in Sussex County and offers a breathtaking view from about 200 feet. The trail to the falls is relatively short, spanning around 0.3 miles.
Visitors can explore the surrounding area, which is rich in natural beauty. Nearby, you’ll find High Point State Park, featuring hiking trails, picnic areas, and the High Point Monument.
For adventure seekers, the Appalachian Trail is also accessible from this park. Go for a stroll or take a more challenging hike; Buttermilk Falls and its surroundings offer a perfect day trip for nature lovers.
Great Falls of the Passaic River
A must-see attraction in New Jersey is the Great Falls of the Passaic River near Paterson, a national historic site. It is a majestic sight, standing at around 77 feet high. Visitors can explore the Great Falls Historic District, which offers a visitor center, museum, and walking tours.
Visitors can fully enjoy the location’s natural beauty and historical value thanks to the 1.5-mile walk that circles the falls. You may also check out the Lambert Castle Museum for a better understanding of the history of the falls. The Great Falls is an ideal destination for those interested in natural wonders and local heritage.
Hidden within the Wawayanda State Park in Sussex County, Chikahoki Falls is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The trail to the falls stretches approximately 3 miles, providing a pleasant hiking experience through the park’s woodlands.
Wawayanda Lake, located nearby, offers opportunities for fishing, swimming, and boating. Hikers can also explore the Appalachian Trail, which passes through the park. Chikahoki Falls and its surrounding area are perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat amidst nature.
Nestled in the South Mountain Reservation in Essex County, Hemlock Falls is a delightful oasis just a short drive from Newark. The falls cascade down the rocks, creating a serene atmosphere.
The trail leading to Hemlock Falls is around 1.6 miles long, taking hikers through beautiful woodland scenery. Visitors can explore the South Mountain Reservation and engage in various leisure pursuits, including horseback riding, biking, and hiking.
Nearby attractions include the Turtle Back Zoo and the Thomas Edison National Historical Park. Hemlock Falls and its surrounding area are ideal for nature enthusiasts and families seeking a day of outdoor exploration.
Van Campens Glen
Situated within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Van Campens Glen is a magical waterfall that showcases the natural beauty of New Jersey.
1.2 miles-long trail meanders through a picturesque forested valley. Visitors can spot various species of birds and wildflowers along the way. Visitors can continue their exploration by hiking the Appalachian Trail, which passes through this area.
Kayaking, canoeing, and fishing are among the outdoor activities available at Delaware Water Gap, which is close by. With its tranquil atmosphere and surrounding natural wonders, Van Campens Glen is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The largest waterfall in Pennsylvania and one of the most impressive in New Jersey, Dingmans Falls, is in the Dingmans Ferry region of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Visitors of all ages and abilities can explore the falls because the 0.3-mile boardwalk trail is simple and accessible.
You’ll go through a verdant forest en route, and when you get to the falls, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning 130-foot cascade. Nearby, you can explore the Dingmans Falls Visitor Center, which offers exhibits and educational programs about the area’s natural and cultural history.
The Dingmans Ferry area is known for its hiking trails, fishing spots, and historic Dingmans Ferry Bridge.
Situated in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Raymondskill Falls is another stunning waterfall worth exploring. It is a three-tiered waterfall with a height of 150 feet that dazzles visitors with its splendor.
All levels of hikers can complete the roughly 0.3-mile trek to the falls. After admiring the falls, visitors can explore the Milford area, known for its charming shops, art galleries, and restaurants. The nearby Grey Towers National Historic Site, the former home of conservationist Gifford Pinchot, offers guided tours and beautiful gardens.
Raymondskill Falls and its surroundings provide a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions.
Hacklebarney State Park
In Morris County, Hacklebarney State Park provides a tranquil haven from the rush of urban life. A lovely waterfall in the park may be reached by hiking along a picturesque 1.5-mile track. The falls cascade over a rocky ledge, creating a soothing ambiance.
Visitors can also enjoy picnicking, fishing, and bird-watching within the park. For those seeking more adventure, nearby Allamuchy Mountain State Park offers hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding opportunities.
Additionally, the charming town of Chester is a short drive away, where visitors can explore quaint shops and enjoy local dining. Hacklebarney State Park and its surroundings offer a peaceful retreat with various activities for nature enthusiasts.
Pinwheel Vista Falls
Stairway to Heaven is a beautiful trail in Vernon Township that leads to breathtaking panoramic vistas and a charming waterfall. The 2.8-mile trail passes through farmland, woodlands, and meadows as it transports walkers.
You’ll come across stone steps, wooden boardwalks, and observation platforms that provide spectacular views of the surrounding landscape along the route. The trail’s endpoint features a beautiful waterfall called Pinwheel Vista Falls, where visitors can relax and enjoy the natural beauty.
Nearby attractions include the Appalachian Trail, the Mountain Creek Resort, and the Mountain Creek Waterpark, offering opportunities for additional outdoor activities and entertainment.
Tillman Ravine, located in Stokes State Forest, is a hidden gem that offers a serene and secluded waterfall experience. The 1.6-mile trail takes visitors through a lush forest, crossing streams and wooden bridges along the way to the falls.
The waterfall itself cascades down rocky cliffs, creating a picturesque sight. Visitors can also explore the rest of Stokes State Forest, which offers camping, fishing, and scenic overlooks.
The nearby town of Branchville is home to the Space Farms Zoo and Museum, where visitors can learn about wildlife conservation and enjoy interactive exhibits. Tillman Ravine provides a tranquil escape into nature, perfect for those seeking solitude and natural beauty.
The Boonton Falls is undoubtedly on the list of New Jersey’s most remarkable waterfalls. This waterfall, like the others nearby that draw an influx of eager tourists is situated in the famed Morris Country in the western section of Paterson.
For a mysterious view of the surroundings and an easy trip to the destination, visitors can stroll around the eastern bank of Grace Lord Park.
The Boonton Falls’ steady flow ebbs and flows into the gorgeous Rockaway River, which flows through the entire town. It can be found in Grace Lord Park.
Paterson Great Falls
The Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park features the awe-inspiring Great Falls of the Passaic River, cascading approximately 77 feet. The park’s visitor center offers tours, displays, and educational opportunities for visitors.
The 1.5-mile route that encircles the falls enables visitors to fully appreciate the area’s scenic beauty and historical significance. Nearby attractions include the Paterson Museum and the Lambert Castle Museum, offering insights into the region’s history and culture.
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is a unique combination of natural wonders and local heritage, making it an enriching and captivating experience for visitors.
Situated in Rutherford, this urban waterfall offers a delightful escape within a suburban setting. Rutherford Falls is easily accessible and can be reached by a short walk from the town center.
The waterfall flows over a series of rocks, creating a picturesque scene. Visitors can relax by the falls, take photographs, or enjoy a picnic nearby. Rutherford itself offers a range of attractions, including charming shops, restaurants, and historical sites.
Visitors can explore the Meadowlands Museum or take a walk along the Rutherford Riverfront Park. Rutherford Falls is an excellent option for those seeking a peaceful retreat and a taste of nature in an urban environment.
Ramapo Mountain State Forest, located in Bergen and Passaic Counties, offers a wealth of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. The forest features several waterfalls, including the famous Ramapo Falls.
The trail to Ramapo Falls is approximately 2 miles long and takes hikers through scenic woodlands. After enjoying the falls, visitors can explore the rest of the forest, which offers hiking trails, fishing spots, and stunning viewpoints.
The Oakland Nature Preserve in the nearby town of Oakland houses interactive displays and guided tours where visitors may discover more about the local flora and wildlife.
Ramapo Mountain State Forest provides a diverse array of outdoor activities and a chance to immerse oneself in the tranquility of nature.
Watchung Reservation Waterfall
The Watchung Reservation is a 2,000-acre nature reserve in Union County, New Jersey. While the reservation doesn’t have a traditional waterfall, there is a small cascade known as the Watchung Reservation Waterfall, also referred to as Lake Surprise Dam.
This dam is 50-foot wide by 10-foot high. The Watchung Reservation Waterfall is a man-made waterfall located near Lake Surprise within the reservation.
It is incredibly gorgeous, despite being artificial. The Olmsted Brothers, the landscape designers of New York’s Central Park, created the historical reservation where the waterfall is located.
Make sure to hike the six-mile history route, which passes via Union County’s historic sites.
Silver Spray Falls
Nestled in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Silver Spray Falls is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful and scenic waterfall experience.
A magnificent woodland landscape is traversed by hikers along the 2.5-mile trek to the falls. You can hear the tranquil sound of water pouring down the rocks as you approach the falls.
The waterfall is a picturesque sight, with its silvery spray glistening in the sunlight. Visitors can also explore the surrounding area, which offers additional hiking trails, fishing spots, and picnic areas.
The nearby town of Dingmans Ferry features quaint shops, historic sites, and the historic Dingmans Ferry Bridge. Silver Spray Falls is a tranquil oasis, providing a serene escape into nature.
Greenbrook Falls, located in Tenafly Nature Center, offers a peaceful and serene waterfall experience within a nature reserve. The trail to the falls is approximately 1 mile long and takes visitors through beautiful woodlands and meadows.
The falls cascade down a rocky slope, creating a picturesque scene. Visitors can also explore the Tenafly Nature Center, which offers educational programs, nature trails, and wildlife exhibits.
The nearby town of Tenafly offers additional attractions, including art galleries, parks, and the Tenafly Nature Center Museum. Greenbrook Falls and its surroundings provide a tranquil retreat for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful escape from the city.
New Jersey’s waterfalls are a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. From the towering heights of Buttermilk Falls to the urban charm of Rutherford Falls, each waterfall offers unique beauty and experience.
These 17 best waterfalls in New Jersey provide you the chance to fully experience the state’s natural splendors, whether you’re a nature lover, hiker, or just searching for a quiet getaway. With their varying trail lengths, nearby attractions, and recreational activities, these waterfalls offer a diverse range of experiences for visitors.
So, grab your hiking boots and embark on an adventure to explore the captivating waterfalls of the Garden State.
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