The Niagara Falls of New Jersey


From the side of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park on McBride Avenue, we drove towards the bridge — not the footbridge — to make a right turn on Maple Street to get to Mary Ellen Kramer Park.

Entrance to Mary Ellen Kramer park. Photo by Lexi Zotomayor

As we got closer, we realized that we could have left our vehicle at the Paterson Great Falls park side and walked towards Mary Ellen Kramer Park because of the lack of ample parking. Be that as it may, we were fortunate to find a spot to park across from Mary Ellen Kramer Park.

While in the car, disquietude crept in because I knew that any moment the rain would fall. So, I hurriedly alighted and sped towards the park. Armed with my heavy camera and phone, I ran towards the lookout point.

“Whoa!” was all I could say as I stood in front of the cascading waters. I was like Jodie Foster in the movie, “Contact,” when she finally saw outer space. My mouth agape, I was a giddy spectator as I hurriedly moved closer. I could not even put together a coherent thought; it was mesmerizing. It was truly an unbelievable sight!

I thought I was looking at Niagara Falls from the Canadian side or I was on the Maid of the Mist boat. I was speechless. It’s a shame that not too many come to enjoy such a spectacular view. It’s just in the neighborhood and people just don’t come here in droves as they do in other places.

One thing I can tell those reluctant visitors to this park that they are missing out on the opportunity to enjoy a truly amazing American park. There are thousands of parks across the country and this in my view ranks high on my list of must-see places in the northeast.

I envy those who live in the neighborhood as they are literally a stone’s throw away. And on any given day, they can just walk by, jog, run, bring their children or their pets, and relax at the park.

Granted that visitors like us coming to this park require a lot of patience in dealing with traffic, but at the end of the day, it is all worth it. You don’t even have to pay neither an admission ticket nor a parking fee. It is all there for free, ready to welcome everybody, whenever they are ready.

Paterson Great Falls from the Mary Ellen Kramer Park side

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