Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Great Falls in Paterson

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Certainly by now you’ve heard of the record flooding New Jersey experienced this past week after our torrential rainfall. Something every good New Jerseyian (or is that Jerseyite?) does at times of record rainfall is head to the Great Falls in Paterson.  So when neighbor Kim proposed a field trip yesterday, I was more than game. It was a beautiful day for a change, sunny and mid 60’s.

The Passaic River falls 77 feet, making the Great Falls the second highest falls on the East Coast. Second only to the mighty Niagara Falls!

The river (we think) crested on Tuesday, but on Wednesday it was still pretty angry! With a mighty roar it thundered over the rocky cliffs.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We decided to walk over and go across the bridge for different views.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The river before it reaches the cliffs.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

On the opposite side of where we were, with some of Paterson’s old factories in the background.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Just before crossing over the bridge there was a beautiful rainbow in the mist. I tried several different angles and shots.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

On the bridge! Pretty scary! (Doubling up on rainbows.) The mist coming off the falls was just like being in the rain. We were drenched by the time we got to the other side.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

On the other side of the falls there was this little observation point where you were ever so close to the falls. Motion sickness alert! It was mesmerizing watching all the water coming straight at you. It made me feel very unbalanced.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

The following photos were taken from that vantage point in each direction. First photo is looking to the right. Middle photo is looking straight out at the water, and final photo is looking left and to the main section of the falls.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

We walked around to view them from the back.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

And back on the bridge again.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

They surely were a sight that I might never see again.

P.S. Video to come!

P.P S. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day when we went, we tried to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but did not succeed.


Hi Lynne,

I’ve lived here all of my life but I never saw the falls from those angles.  My immediate thought was please contact the New York Times New Jersey section and asked them if they would be interested in your wonderful photos!  If not the Times how about the Herald News (Bergen Record).  They are so breathtaking. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to share them.

Thanks again,

Oh Marie, thank you for such a lovely compliment!

I have to agree- those pictures are amazing! In some of them- it looks like you were actually IN the river taking them! What an amazing site that must have been. 
The last time I saw flooding in NJ was when the ice dam broke back in 95 or 96 and the Deleware was crazy high- many homes in Frenchtown (near where I am from- right on the river) were being evacuated and the bridges were closed down cause the propane tanks and buildings were floating down the river. It was crazy! Dad took my sister and I down to see it- it was unreal.
Now I wish I had been able to go there to see that- it’s amazing! Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

Jessica, believe me, we felt like we were IN the river at times the mist was so heavy! We had a minor flood when we first moved here (2007) but this one was bigger. Driving around Wayne, Little Falls and environs yesterday we still saw flooded streets and people not able to get home. Very scary, the power of water is!
Glad you enjoyed!
Hah, my word verification is “real”.

It sure was.

This time of year there are surely lots of reminders as to the power of water in Mother Nature’s hands!  I can almost hear the thunder of the rushing water, looking at your photos!  Really feels like I am there!

I guess I must be a BAD New Jerseyian as I’ve never even BEEN to the falls… driven by a few times, but never actually went as a destination.  Thanks for sharing your great shots!

Maggie, you really should go! Shame on you! wink

Hi Lynne

I saw the flooding in NJ and instantly, thought of you and if you are having any problems with it.

The pictures are so beautiful, I could “hear” the water over the falls.  You have such a gift with photography.

How’s the rug coming?

Hey Julie. Thankfully we don’t live in one of those “low” places! Thank you for the compliment! The rug? Not so good at the moment. I ripped out the bits I had done because I didn’t like the way it looked. I’ve tried several more times but the fabric strips in the one color are splitting and making a mess! I am not giving up tho!

You were extremely brave to cross the bridge but what fantastic photos - I feel dizzy just looking at the photos and NO way could I have got anywhere near the falls - I find water terrifying.

Joyce, maybe you’d better not watch the video when I post it! wink
Crossing the bridge I kept wondering if it was going to hold but everybody else was going over it!

wow, so powerful,it looks amazing.

will be back for the video

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