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20 Best Waterfalls Near Me in New Jersey

17 min read
20 Best Waterfalls Near Me in New Jersey

20 Waterfalls in New Jersey that need to be on your Bucket List!

When you first hear the name New Jersey, your mind might get flooded with the images of the unending diners that the state plays home to or the Jersey Shore! However, we bet that you didn’t know that New Jersey is replete with some splendid waterfalls, each more beautiful than the other, nestled amongst the lush forests surrounding the garden state!

Searching for Waterfalls near me in NJ?

Whether you are on the lookout for a quaint spot where you can enjoy some much-needed tranquility with a backdrop of a silent yet mesmerizing waterfall, or you wish to witness a thunderous waterfall that is raging with water, New Jersey has it all! And if you happen to have a special interest in hiking, you are always welcome to embark on the marvelous waterfall hikes that the state has to offer

As you may guess, if you wish to experience the true majestic nature of waterfalls in and around New Jersey, the best time to do so is during the spring, right after the spring showers have accomplished their task of breathing life into each and every waterfall with some fresh water.

To make sure that you choose nothing but the most unique hiking trails, we have consolidated a list of the best waterfall hikes in New Jersey! So, without further ado, let’s get started on this list so that you can pick which waterfall you want to tick off your bucket list first!

Paterson Great Falls Near me

  • Can you swim? No
  • How far from New Jersey City? Approximately 70 miles
  • Best time to visit? August
  • Crowded or Secluded? It can be crowded on Public Holidays
  • Address: 72 McBride Ave Ext, Paterson, NJ 07501
  • Hours: All days 6 AM–8:30 PM
  • The Patterson Great falls are exceptionally majestic with a width of 260 feet and a height of a whopping 77 feet. The Great Falls are situated east of the Mississippi River and beside Niagara Falls. The sheer volume of these falls usually reminds the visitors of the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls.

What makes these falls truly splendid is the enormous crash of roaring water that rushes over the edge, making them as picturesque as they are massive. Since the source of the great falls is the Passaic River of Passaic County, these falls are also known as Passaic Falls by the locals.

Did you know?

The Patterson City that surrounds the Passaic Waterfalls, was deliberately established around the waterfall by Alexander Hamilton. Thanks to his incredible foresight Paterson holds the title of the first planned industrial city in the United States offering regular employment to hundreds and thousands of people.

Owning to their placement in a fairly urban setting, the Great Falls have now been restored as the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park by the National Park Service! This restoration has made the falls much more accessible for visitors, which is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that more than 177,000 people visited the falls in the year 2016.

Buttermilk Falls near NJ

Pets are allowed here. 🙂

Can you swim? Swimming at Buttermilk Falls depends on weather conditions, and the schedule is subject to change.
How far from New Jersey City? 7.2 miles
Best time to visit? Spring, Early Summer, Fall
Crowded or Secluded? Not very crowded.
Address: 112 E. Buttermilk Falls Rd. (Off Rt. 13 S) Ithaca, NY 14850.
Timing: 8 AM to 7:30 PM

As the name suggests, the Buttermilk falls exhibit a gentle flow down a rocky stairway exuding the look of creamy, smooth buttermilk. To reach the falls, you can opt to take the 1.4-mile-long Buttermilk Falls Trail. As per Wikipedia, it is New Jersey’s tallest waterfall, with a height of over 200 feet.

This seemingly short but steep hike can be considered moderately challenging, but the view up close is simply breathtaking. While you are on the trail, you will also get to witness the majestic views of the valley! And if you are lucky enough, you might get to spot some wildlife as well. Now isn’t that a tempting prospect

If you are not in for a steep hike such as this one, you can enjoy the view from where the trail begins.

The water of Buttermilk Falls flows gently down its rocky stairway as smooth as, well, butter. The best way to see the falls up close is to follow the Buttermilk Falls Trail, a 1.4-mile, a moderately challenging path that takes you up to its summit. Considering this is one of the tallest waterfalls in the state, expect a bit of a climb.

Hemlock Falls near New Jersey

  • Can you swim? You can enter the shallow swim holes if there is ample water
  • How far from New Jersey City? Approximately 61 miles
  • Best time to visit? After a bout of heavy rainfall
  • Crowded or Secluded? The falls can prove to be quite crowded
  • Address: Route, 510 Rte 510, South Orange, NJ 07079
  • Timing: 7 AM to 8:30 PM

Situated in the South Mountain Reservation in Essex County, the Hemlock Falls feature a 25-foot-high waterfall. Surrounded by a sprawling 2,110 acres of rocky land with a whopping 50 miles worth of trails to explore, the South Mountain Reservation is in and itself truly picturesque, especially owing to the plethora of hills, forests, rivers, and waterfalls that ur is home to!

As far as the Hemlock falls are concerned, their magic seems to grow and transform with each passing season as they take on new shapes and colors leaving the beholders awestruck. And if you are someone with a penchant for all things icy, we would suggest rambling through the hemlock falls trail in the month of January!

Wyanokie Falls

  • Can you swim? No, simply because the falls aren’t that big. If you wish, you can take a quick shower though.
  • How far from New Jersey City? ~83 miles approximately
  • Best time to visit? Spring
  • Crowded or Secluded? Secluded
  • Address: Wanaque, NJ 07465
  • Hours:

Situated in the western section of the Ramapo Valley Conservation of the Norvin Green State Forest, the Wyanokie waterfalls are a part of the Wanaque Reservoir. In a bid to reach these beautiful waterfalls, you need to start hiking through the New Weis Centre, after which you can proceed to the Otter Hole Trail, the Mine Trail, and lastly the Roomy Mine Trail. Once you reach it, you will be able to soak in the magnificence of the water flowing downstream from the Blue Mine Brook into the Wanaque Reservoir.

Also read: best waterfalls in Ubud

Tinton Falls

  • Can you swim? No
  • How far from New Jersey City? Approximately 30 miles
  • Best time to visit? Spring
  • Crowded or Secluded? Secluded

Confusing as it may be, Tinton Falls are situated in a borough of the same name – Tinton Falls! Yes, Tinton Falls is a town in Monmouth County of New Jersey! Was there a dearth of names for the borough? Well, we could only imagine!

Anyhow, the Tinton Falls, which were once 30 feet tall, has a slightly tapered size now owing to the destructed dam and resultant erosion. That said, if you are looking forward to a waterfall that is calm, tranquil, and truly mesmerizing – your search will come to an end when you reach the wooden platform located at 741 Tinton Avenue and get swept by the sheer beauty of these falls.

Tillman Falls

  • Can you swim? No
  • How far from New Jersey City? 112 miles
  • Best time to visit?
  • Crowded or Secluded?

While not as humongous as the neighboring Buttermilk Falls, Tillman falls located in Sussex county is the highlight of the Tillman Ravine. As you may have come to know by now, even this waterfall will require you to take a short hike, more like an easy walk within the Tillman Ravine and then through the verdant woods to unravel its beauty. These falls are just as mesmerizing if not more than the Buttermilk falls.

And while you are at it, you can take pleasure in one or more of the outdoor activities including but not limited to hiking, biking, or fishing. Want to grab a quick bite or some drinks, the numerous restaurants and bars in the area will give you ample opportunity to do so.

Worthington State Forest Waterfall/Laurel Falls

  • Can you swim? No, swimming isn’t permitted here.
  • How far from New Jersey City? 100 miles
  • Best time to visit? Right after heavy rainfall, or in Spring
  • Crowded or Secluded? Can get very crowded on holidays

Located just a 5-min hike away from the Douglas Trail parking lot, Laurel Falls happens to be one of the most scintillating attractions around the Worthington State Forest. These falls are ideal for those who don’t want an adventurous hike but simply wish to enjoy the splendor of a beautiful waterfall, while reveling in a scenic drive.

The Laurel Falls are divided into three sections – The lower section being the closest to the road, can be easily accessed via a path near the Douglas Trail signs near the Sunfish Pond. The upper section can be accessed by climbing uphill after you’re done exploring the lower section. The third cascade, as you might have guessed, is further above but needs a fairly steep climb. If you were to ask us, we’d suggest skipping this cascade, as it is simply not worth the extra effort.

Chikahoki Falls

  • Can you swim? Yes, in the shallow swimming hole located at the base of the fall
  • How far from New Jersey City? 88.5 miles
  • Best time to visit? Springtime
  • Crowded or Secluded? Crowded, especially on the weekends

Also known as the ‘Chick Falls’, the Chikahoki Falls are situated deep within the Norvin Green State Forest. While not very tall, these falls prove to be amazing for their sheer magnificence. The giant Rockaway river, the unending lush greens, and the idyllic setting – all come together to offer you an unmatched experience that will stay with you for a long time to come.

Hacklebarney State Park Waterfall

  • Can you swim? No. Swimming is not allowed anywhere in the park.
  • How far from New Jersey City? 68 miles
  • Best time to visit? Spring is ideal, but the park is also scenic in summer.
  • Crowded or Secluded? It gets crowded during the weekends, summers and during the holidays

If you are one with a never-ending love for waterfalls, Hacklebarney state park is the place to be! The park essentially offers waterfalls in all varieties imaginable. You’ll find multiple trails such as the Waterfall Trail (Purple), The Main Trail (White), and the Riverside Trail (Red). If you wish to visit the larger-than-life falls at Trout Brook, follow the Waterfall Trail. And while you are at it, make sure you have a picture of the map, or a printed copy of the park’s trail so you don’t get lost along the way.

Tumble Falls

  • Can you swim? Yes, you can.
  • How far from New Jersey City? 59 miles
  • Best time to visit? During the springtime or after good rainfall in fall or winter
  • Crowded or Secluded? Largely secluded

Tumble Falls can be described as a series of small waterfalls. Situated in close proximity to the intersection of Tumble Falls Road and NJ Route 29, these falls do not require a steep hike, which makes them worth a visit for one and all.

While the maximum height of the Tumble Falls is 30+ feet, some cascades along the falls drop 20 feet and some others 15 feet. While they might not sound as impressive as the other majestic falls on this list, their beauty is outstanding and you won’t regret the convenient visit to these falls! Want a superb view? Well, hike around 200 yards up from the stream, and revel in the splendid view.

Boonton Falls in Great Lord Park

  • Can you swim? No, but you can dip your toes.
  • How far from New Jersey City? 76.5 miles
  • Best time to visit? Fall
  • Crowded or Secluded? Can get crowded on holidays

Did you know? The Boonton Falls once powered the New Jersey Iron Company! Now isn’t that an intriguing reason to visit this waterfall?

Around 20 feet in height, the Boonton falls can be spotted just off the main street in Boonton and can be easily accessed via a short walk, once you’re inside the Grace Lord Park.

What makes Boonton Falls truly worthwhile is not the gushing waters though. It is the romantic gazebo strategically placed in a serene spot, right near the crest making it ideal for those much-desired photo ops!

Watchung Reservation Waterfall

  • Can you swim? Yes. You can opt for hiking, biking, bird watching, as well as swimming.
  • How far from New Jersey City? 54 miles
  • Best time to visit? Springtime
  • Crowded or Secluded? Very crowded

The 10-mile Sierra Trail, the 2,000-acre woodland, and a flattering waterfall – what’s not to love about the more than just awe-inspiring Watchung Reservation? Known to be home to one of the best waterfall hikes in New Jersey, the Watchung Reservation offers a scenic view near the valley and the ridge of the Lower Watchung Mountains.

Ramapo Falls

  • Can you swim? There is no swimming permitted in this lake. However, you can do Boating, Canoeing, and Kayaking provided you bring your own equipment.
  • How far from New Jersey City? 90 miles
  • Best time to visit? Fall and Early Spring are the ideal times to visit.
  • Crowded or Secluded? Crowded on most days

Ideal for a family day out including your pets, your visit to the falls will start by entering the Ramapo Valley Reservation. Right opposite the parking area, you can spot the white trail. Start by following it and then continue on the yellow trail to get a magnificent view of the waterfalls. What’s more? You will also unravel a mesmerizing view of Oakland itself. And before we forget to mention, packing a picnic would be a great idea, if you wish to enjoy the gorgeous views of Lake Todd.

Dingmans Falls

  • Can you swim? No, swimming is not permitted in the Dingman Falls water.
  • How far from New Jersey City? 125 miles
  • Best time to visit? July/August
  • Crowded or Secluded? Can get crowded, hence visiting earlier in the day is recommended

You can reach Dingmans Falls by following the boardwalk past Silverthread Falls, a relatively easy trail. On the way, you will spot the hemlock ravine filled with rhododendron. In case, you want a better view do take the optional stairs to reach the viewing area above the falls. Make sure that you are visiting the falls, only when the gate is open, lest you might have to add two miles to your hike!

Dunnfield Creek Falls

  • Can you swim? Yes
  • How far from New Jersey City? 98 miles
  • Best time to visit? Early Spring / Fall
  • Crowded or Secluded? Gets crowded on weekends and holidays

The 3,5-mile long Dunnfield Creek Trail that paves the way to the falls is spectacular, in every sense of the word. The relaxing sight of the falls, the melodious chirping of the forest birds, and the greenery all around, will all make your trip to the Dunnfield Creek Falls as memorable as you can imagine. Situated fairly deep within the Worthington State Forest, the water of the fall rushes from a fresh ravine, into a revitalising pool where you can enjoy a dip or even some swimming.

Did you know? The Dunnfield Creek Falls are known to be the Longest Trail Waterfall in NJ. Wondering why? Well, it is situated in the Delaware River Water Gap and happens to be of the Appalachian Trail, which is essentially a 2000-mile long hiking trail.

Van Campen Glen Falls

  • Can you swim? Not Permitted
  • How far from New Jersey City? 105 miles
  • Best time to visit? Fall
  • Crowded or Secluded? Not crowded

Low on spirits, and need some life-altering perspective? Well, then look no further than the Van Campen Glen falls. Originating from the Van Campens Brook, these walls can be found in the Delaware Water Gap. What makes these falls truly wondrous is the fact that they comprise of numerous small and large cascades, falling upon the rocks, amidst the lush green forests. If you are on the lookout for a solitary experience, we highly recommend visiting these falls in the early morning, lest you might come across some explorers, and even find yourself sitting under the bright and shiny sun.

Greenbrook Falls

  • Can you swim? No
  • How far from New Jersey City? 80 miles
  • Best time to visit? Fall
  • Crowded or Secluded? Does not get very crowded

Greenbrook falls boast of a staggering height of 250 feet, which in itself is reason enough to visit them. However, if you need some more convincing, let us tell you that these massive falls lie within the Greenbrook Sanctuary, spread across a sprawling 165-acre land stretching from Tenafly to Alpine. The water from the falls flows in a dramatic fashion to meet its final resting spot – the Hudson River.

One thing to remember though, access to the Greenbrook falls is only possible through a membership which can be availed through the Palisades Nature Association. Although on the higher end, it will prove to be worth your while, especially if you are open to visiting the sanctuary more than once.

Silver Spray Falls

  • Can you swim? Yes
  • How far from New Jersey City? 114 miles
  • Best time to visit? Falls
  • Crowded or Secluded? Crowded

Popular known as the “Hidden Falls” amongst the locals, the Silver Spray Falls are rather difficult to spot. In order to access the falls, you need to go inwards about half a mile on the Mountain Road, after which the trailhead exists. However, the tricky part is spotting the trailhead, as it not marked. The key here is to keep your eyes on the road, and if possible find someone in the area who could point you in the right direction.

Of course, don’t be discouraged by this little hassle, beacuse once you overcome it, you will be in for a pleasant surprise as the Silver Spray Falls happen to be one of the most spell-binding New Jersey Waterfalls.

Apshawa Falls

  • Can you swim? Yes
  • How far from New Jersey City? 85 miles
  • Best time to visit? Spring
  • Crowded or Secluded? Mostly secluded

Though not as massive as some of the other waterfalls in New Jersey, but Apashwa Falls boast of a majestic beauty that is hard to match. Ideal for a Spring Time visit, or even after a heavy rainfall, these falls set along the Apshawa Brook are surrounded by quaint little trickles, which only add to their splendor!

To reach the falls, you will have to walk along a hiking trail, that leads past a dam and the ruins of gargantuan water tanks – all offering sights to behold. Once at the waterfalls, you will be amazed by the tranquil surroundings and the gushing waters.

Schooley’s Mountain Falls

  • Can you swim? Yes. The Schooley’s Mountain Park allows hiking, picnicking, boating, swimming, fishing and winter activities.
  • How far from New Jersey City? 75 miles
  • Best time to visit? Spring
  • Crowded or Secluded? Sparsely Crowded

An ideal spot for a family day out, the Schooley’s Mountain County Park plays home to the gorgeous falls with the same name. You’d think that being located within a park, the falls would be easy to find, but let us tell you, you’re mistaken. You fill have some traipsing to do. To begin with, start by following the Falling Water Trails, then move on to the Electric Brook Gorge, and slowly bit surely, you will hear the gushing sounds and finally catch the glimpse of the Schooley Mountain Falls.

Bridal Veil Falls – North Haledon

  • Can you swim? Yes
  • How far from New Jersey City? 75 miles
  • Best time to visit? Spring
  • Crowded or Secluded? Somewhat crowded on weekends and public holidays

As the name suggests, these falls mimic the appearance of a bride’s veil. Around 40 feet tall, this waterfall flows down to a pool beneath, wherein you can swim and forget all your worries. Located in the North Haledon, among an old sandstone quarry, the Bridal Veil Falls can be accessed easily. Once there, make sure to follow the trail to the cave behind the falls, and unravel the natural beauty that lies beyond.

We hope that you are now aware of some of the most scenic and welcoming waterfalls within 50 Kms of New Jersey, and also have shortlisted the “Waterfall near me to swim” from our list.

Frequently Asked Questions About Waterfalls in New Jersey

What is the history of Patterson Falls?

The Great Falls of the Passaic River boast of a height of 77 feet, and a width of whopping 260 feet, which makes it almost double the size of a football field. With over 2 billion gallons of water, this is the second largest waterfall on the east coast. The humongous flow of water has helped the city witness many firsts, including the first city with a water powered cotton mill. It also earned the Patterson City an unmatched reputation during the industrial revolution.

What do I need to know before visiting Van Campens Glen Falls?

Hiking to reach the Van Campen Glen Falls can prove to be great idea since there are many picturesque trails that can be explored, including the Hamilton Trail. However, you must be aware of the fact that wet or icy conditions can make the surrounding rocks exceptionally slippery. Hence, wear appropriate gear and use extreme caution.

What to know before visiting Ramapo Falls?

Make sure to take the Yellow trail, as it will take you straight to the impressive waterfall. This is especially recommended if you are looking for an easy trail.

Are there any Bears near Apshawa brook?

Yes. The Apshawa Brook is infamous for bears that live in the surrounding area. Hence, make sure not to carry any food with you, and even if you do not to offer the same to any bear in case of an encounter. Moreover, make sure to carry a bear repellent to be on the safer side.

20 Best Waterfalls in New Jersey

List of best waterfalls in NJ Hike Distance Hunting Permitted? Trail Fee
Paterson Great Falls 0.5 mile No Free
Buttermilk Falls 7 miles Yes Free
Hemlock Falls 2.4 miles Yes Free
Wyanokie Falls 6.5 miles Only fishing Free
Tinton Falls 3.1 miles Only for deer hunting Free
Tillman Falls 2 miles No Free
Laurel Falls in Worthington State Forest 2.6 miles Only fishing Free
Chikahoki Falls 2.2 miles Only fishing Free
Hacklebarney State Park Waterfall 3.8 miles Hunting is permitted in the southern portion of the park. Free
Tumble Falls 4 miles No Free
Boonton Falls in Great Lord Park 0.2 miles No Free
Watchung Reservation Waterfall 6.2 miles Allowed only on few days in March $10 for Non-Member Adult
$5 for Non-Member Child
Ramapo Falls 1.5 miles Hunting permitted during all regular and permit hunting seasons except within areas designated as: No Hunting Zone Free
Dingmans Falls 1.4 miles No Free
Dunnfield Creek Falls 3.5 miles No Free
Van Campen Glen Falls 2.1 miles No Free
Greenbrook Falls 6.5 miles No Free
Silver Spray Falls 1.4 miles Only Fishing Free
Apshawa Falls 5.2 miles No Free
Schooley’s Mountain Falls 2.4 miles Yes Free
Bridal Veil Falls – North Haledon 3 miles Bow hunting only Free

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