Apart from the iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey is blessed with several gorgeous waterfalls. While some lie nestled in lush woodlands of state parks and forests, others sit close to the road. Despite ranging in size, the waterfalls are a sight to behold. Also, the hike to reach most of these natural wonders is pretty enjoyable as the scenic vistas make your hike worthwhile.
Located close to downtown Paterson, this 77-foot-tall waterfall is the center of attraction in Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Several viewpoints allow visitors to admire it as it powerfully drops over basalt rock faces on the Passaic River. In terms of volume, it is the second-largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River, making it ideal to see its gushing state all year round.
Nearest City: About 0.5 miles from Paterson
Hiking & Other Activities: This waterfall is visible from the parking lot. However, don’t miss walking to the lower deck and the bridge above the waterfall to enjoy its views from different angles. Also, do make sure to visit the adjacent museum to know more about the area’s history.
With a mighty height of about 200 feet, Buttermilk Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in New Jersey. Visitors often flock to the Stokes National Forest within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area after a heavy rainfall to see it in its most impressive state. Besides viewing it from its base, you’ll also find other lookout points at its side and a steep set of stairs leading to its top.
Nearest City: About 17.7 miles from Newton
Hiking & Other Activities: An easy walk for a short distance from the parking area will bring you to the waterfall. You can hike further uphill to Crater Lake and Hemlock Ponds to make it a whole day’s adventure. If wishing to explore the nearby areas, you could head to the Tillman Ravine would be excellent. The picturesque beauty of the forested creek and a small yet lovely waterfall flowing into it provide a visual treat.
Hemlock Falls is a gorgeous 25-foot-tall waterfall that is a part of the South Mountain Reservation. The surrounding hills and towering trees elevate its beauty. Though it’s ideal to see in any season, you could plan to visit the waterfall in winter to see its spectacular frozen state. After soaking in the views, you could spend time exploring the adjoining natural features of the reservation area.
Nearest City: About 3 miles from Millburn
Hiking & Other Activities: You can reach this waterfall by hiking the 1.7-mile Hemlock Falls Loop Trail. It is easy to hike for hikers of all skill levels. However, make sure to put on waterproof shoes as the trail is pretty wet and muddy in some spots.
Tillman Falls is a small and lesser-known waterfall sitting on the Tillman Ravine in Stokes National Forest. It’s excellent to check out for those visiting the nearby Buttermilk Falls. Despite its mere size, it appears pretty impressive as it pours down the rock caverns surrounded by towering hemlock trees. Remember to check the weather of the area before planning your visit, as the storms can be quite intense in the area.
Nearest City: About 8.5 miles from Branchville
Hiking & Other Activities: Two parking areas are available on Dimon Road, from where you can access the Tillman Ravine Trail that leads to the waterfall. The 1.6-mile trail is easy to hike by any hiker. Putting on sturdy shoes would be helpful to access the sections exposed to rocks and roots. You can continue hiking along the trail to the end to see the old cemetery. Also, if you further tread along the Appalachian Trail, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Buttermilk Falls.
Hacklebarney State Park is home to many stunning waterfalls and cascades along the Black River. For the best views, you can head to the lookout point that sits somewhere near the downstream of the natural wonder. If visiting the state park in the fall season, you would also be able to appreciate the surrounding fall foliage landscape.
Nearest City: About 4.2 miles from Chester
Hiking & Other Activities: You can take the 1.8-mile Riverside Trail to access the short Waterfall Trail to see the multiple waterfalls. The 0.7-mile Main Trail also leads to the natural cascades. With picnic tables in the area, you can enjoy your meals while taking in the scenic views. You will also find other trails that are equally fun to explore.
Nestled within Grace Lord Park, Boonton Falls is a captivating 77-foot waterfall. Sitting within walking distance from downtown Boonton, the waterfall’s gushing sound can be clearly heard even before you spot it. A well-kept secret, Boonton Falls is ideal for those seeking a peaceful and quaint surroundings. You can also check out the remnants of an old railroad bridge and the local iron industry that once was operated by the rushing water of the waterfall.
Nearest City: About 0.9 miles from Boonton
Hiking & Other Activities: Though there is no designated trail leading to the waterfall, you can walk along the Rockaway River to reach it. The scenic beauty of the river is a sight to behold.
This pretty little waterfall is a part of Watchung Reservation in Union County in northern New Jersey. Surrounded by woodlands, the waterfall makes an ideal spot to rest under the shade of a towering tree. Also, pack your picnic baskets to have an enjoyable family time here.
Nearest City: About 20 miles from Jersey City
Hiking & Other Activities: Taking the Lake Surprise Loop Trail will lead you to the waterfall. It’s easy to hike for even novice hikers. In addition, you will also find several other scenic hiking trails boasting incredible views of various lakes, ponds, and other natural wonders. Other attractions within the reserve like Watchung Stables and Trailside Nature and Science Center are also worth visiting.
Within the Greenbrook Sanctuary in Palisades Interstate Park lies the Greenbrook Falls. It’s a tall waterfall cascading from 250 feet height, tumbling over cliffs to join the Hudson River. Remember that you will have to acquire an annual membership pass of about $ 40 per individual and around $60 per family. Despite the high fee, the splendid views and the serene setting will make your visit worthwhile.
Nearest City: About 20 miles from Jersey City
Hiking & Other Activities: It’s a short hike to the waterfall. Besides this, you can tread along various other trails to explore the place’s scenic beauty and enjoy the sweeping views of the New York skyline. Also, the area is a paradise for birders as they can spot warblers, hawks, and nesting birds like great horned owls and pileated woodpeckers.
Situated in Norvin Green State Forest, Chikahoki Falls has a lush forest setting. Also known as Chick Falls by the locals, the 65-foot-tall waterfall cascades over a cliff face and rushes down into the rock-filled pool below. Though it isn’t a gigantic waterfall, it is an ideal spot for weary hikers to take a break and admire nature. The Otter Hole Falls is also in the vicinity, providing the opportunity to see another waterfall on the same trip.
Nearest City: About 9 miles from Bloomingdale
Hiking & Other Activities: Accessing the waterfall requires a 4.1-mile hike. It’s a loop trail with extremely rocky terrain and a challenging ascent. Despite the difficulty, the trail offers stunning views to enjoy all along the way. You can hike further to Wyanokie High Point to take in the area’s panoramic views. The perfect time to hike here is from April through October.
This waterfall is a part of Ramapo Valley Reservation within Bergen County. Created by a stream that flows from the MacMillan Reservoir, the waterfall gently flows down to reach the Ramapo River. You could plan a picnic here if you are anywhere around the place. The reservation also allows exploring other attractions, including Lake Todd and Scarlet Oak Pond.
Nearest City: About 3.2 miles from Mahwah
Hiking & Other Activities: You’ll have to hike the 3.5-mile Vista Loop Trail marked with yellow blazes to reach the waterfall. The picturesque landscape all along the way is a treat to the eye.
Van Campens Glen Falls is a pretty little waterfall in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. It looks enchanting with the surrounding moss-covered rocks and towering trees. Visiting it early morning would be ideal for experiencing the serenity and natural beauty of the place. If you walk to the end of the waterfall, you can enjoy the views of a large pool. However, swimming or wading in it is strictly not permissible.
Nearest City: About 63 miles from Newark
Hiking & Other Activities: The waterfall is a 1.1-mile out and back hike from the Northern Trailhead. If visiting in springtime, you will be rewarded with many cascades and waterfalls along the shady path.
Amidst the towering oak and maple trees in Apshawa Preserve sits this waterfall on the Apshawa Brook. While it isn’t the largest waterfall out there, it appears mesmerizing, especially after a heavy rainfall. Besides providing many photo opportunities, this area is ideal for spotting various birds.
Nearest City: About 2.7 miles from Butler
Hiking & Other Activities: A hike of about 1.5 miles will take you to the waterfall. Treading along the trail will also give you the opportunity to see a dam and the remains of an old water purification system.
Also known as Laurel Falls, this lovely waterfall flows gently towards the Delaware River. It cascades in three tiers and pours into the stream that is a runoff of the beautiful Sunfish Pond. The wooded setting with moss-covered rock faces makes it look enchanting. After spending some time here, you can explore the surroundings to discover more awe-inspiring waterfalls.
Nearest City: About 61 miles from Newark
Hiking & Other Activities: You can park your vehicles at the parking lot at Old Mine Road and walk for a short distance along the Douglas Trail to the waterfall. A part of the Appalachian Trail also runs through the state park that is worth hiking for adventure seekers and hiking enthusiasts.
Tucked in a scenic gorge in the Schooley’s Mountain Park, this waterfall dramatically flows in two tiers. Even before you see it, you will hear the soothing sound of its calmly rushing waters. The surrounding boulders are fun to hop on with your kids or you could also have a relaxing time sitting on one of them. If you explore a little further, you would find an overlook from where the waterfall and the surrounding area appear spectacular.
Nearest City: About 17 miles from Randolph
Hiking & Other Activities: The hike is not more than a mile long to the waterfall and back. Don’t miss treading along a little further to go the viewpoint.
If planning a road trip along NJ Route 29, you can make a quick stop at this waterfall. As the name suggests, Tumble Falls are multiple cascades that tumble into the stream to meet the Delaware River. The perfect time for visiting is in the spring, when the rainfall would bring out their most impressive state.
Nearest City: About 21 miles from Reaville
Hiking & Other Activities: Viewing the Tumble Falls requires no hiking. It’s easily accessible from the road as they sit at the meeting point of Tumble Falls Road and NJ Route 29.
The Worthington State Forest has many stunning waterfalls. One among these is the Dunnfield Creek Falls, formed by a ravine and cascades down into a pool. Besides admiring the waterfall, you can enjoy wading in it or even fishing for trout here.
Nearest City: About 33 miles from Phillipsburg
Hiking & Other Activities: The 3.5-mile Dunnfield Creek Trail will take you to the waterfall.
One of the state’s best-kept secrets, Silver Spray Falls, is tucked inside Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The Hidden Falls, as locals call it, offers a serene and scenic setting with blooming rhododendrons and towering hemlock and oak trees for visitors to soak in the natural landscape.
Nearest City: About 33 miles from Dover
Hiking & Other Activities: It’s just 0.5 miles away from the well-known Buttermilk Falls. However, visitors often miss spotting its unmarked trailhead that leads to its name, Hidden Falls. If you’re in this area, make sure to head about half a mile along Mountain Road to get to its trailhead.
You will find Stony Brook Falls hidden on the north side of Stokes State Forest. This waterfall comprises an upper and lower section, created by Stony Brook while flowing from Stony Lake towards Big Flat Brook. While the upper falls gush down to be joined by a cascade from a runoff stream at its base, the lower falls are gentle and elongated.
Nearest City: About 76 miles from Vineland
Hiking & Other Activities: You can tread along the Stony Brook Trail after parking your vehicles at the Kittle Field area. The trail runs parallel to the brook, following downstream of which will bring you to the waterfall.
Best Waterfalls to Hike: Hemlock Falls, Schooley’s Mountain Falls, Buttermilk Falls
Best Hidden Waterfalls: Silver Spray Falls, Boonton Falls, Stony Brook Falls
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