Sunday, August 12, 2012

Great Falls

The national park association added a new historical park in March 2009- Great Falls in Paterson NJ, making it the 397th national park system unit, though it was a National Landmark since 1976.
It was close by so I thought I'd check it out.  However I was a bit disappointed.  Maybe it is just because the N.P. association has not technically acquired the land, and they have not improved the area.
The Falls were just that, waterfalls that drops 77 feet. Nothing too impressive and not part of a beautiful landscape - are they really the second largest wast of the Mississippi?  Maybe my travels have clouded my perceptions. 
What I hope to see eventually would be a tour of the power plant - with 18, 19 and 20th century water power remnants and raceway system and I have no doubt they will make the park greens more visitor friendly.
I suppose what is fascinating in the history...but do we declare all historical areas national parks?
Alexander Hamilton envisioned Paterson NJ as a large industrial center that would be powered by the waterfalls. It played a vital role during the industrial revolution.
I think having a national park in Paterson will be good, it is such an industrial area that tourists will go because they have goals to check out all the national parks and in turn will bring a little money to the area.  There are some other great things close by, so one could make a day or two doing a few miscellaneous activities in the area
However, do not plan to spend more than 30 minutes here. And do not plan a trip around this location right now.
What was nice is that the current great falls association has jazz on selected Saturday nights in the summer in the parking lot.  It was free, had a relaxing feel and there was some food/beverage vendors.
For more information on The Great Falls visit the national parks website or the Paterson Friends of the Great Falls (

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