Paterson Great Falls: Overlook Park


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When I visited Paterson Great Falls for the Native American Heritage celebration, it was held in the brand-new Overlook Park. The Overlook’s main feature is an amphitheater facing the falls. The last time I’d been there, the area had been crumbling into the river with a chain link fence keeping people away from the edge (we’d had to find an opening to poke our lenses through to get a shot.)


Besides the amphitheater,  a new stairway connecting the Overlook section with Mary Ellen Kramer Park was added. Previously, we’d had to exit the park, walk around the block and renter to cross the bridge to the far side of the falls. Much-needed improvements were also made to the parking area. Parking is still limited when there is an event happening…there were a few cars waiting for me to leave so they could pounce on my spot in the afternoon.


Funds for the $2.8 million renovation came from New Jersey’s Green Acres fund, the NPS centennial grant, the county’s Open Space fund, the City of Paterson and Rutgers University.  The park has big plans for future improvements, including a Great Lawn on the Allied Textile Printing site and a fancy new visitor center which they are hoping to build in time for Great Fall’s 10th anniversary in 2021.


Scroll down for a video clip of the falls taken from Overlook Park.

Paterson Great Falls posts:

Location: 72 McBride Avenue Extension, Paterson, NJ

Designation: National Historical Park

Date designated or established: 11/7/2011

Date of my visit: 11/4/2018


13 thoughts on “Paterson Great Falls: Overlook Park

  1. One of the most under-appreciated sites around. I was born in Paterson and have been there frequently through many iterations of the surrounding park. The Paterson Museum is right down the street a couple blocks and is a pretty interesting place to go with a lot of relics of Paterson’s industrial history.

    1. Me too! Having visited this park a few times, I’ve met most of the rangers who work there…I feel for them not being able to do the job they love (which in turn has revitalized this community) and to have to worry about making ends meet while they wait for the politicians to stop fighting.

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