• Park: open daily dawn to dusk; Visitor Center: Monday - Friday
  • 10 - 4:30; For weekend visits
  • please call (973) 523-0370; closed Federal and City holidays
  • Guided walking tours
  • special events
  • children's programs
  • self-guided app/cell phone tour of the "Mill Mile"
  • partial ADA accessibility
  • Free

Paterson Great Falls National Park

72 McBride Avenue, Paterson, NJ 07501

(973) 523-0370

America’s 397th national park is also one of its newest. The park was established in 2009 to protect and interpret the innovative waterpower system and natural features of the Paterson Great Falls on the Passaic River, which powered America’s first planned industrial city. ● In 1778, Alexander Hamilton visited the falls and was impressed by its potential for industry. Later when Hamilton was the nation's Secretary of the Treasury, he selected the site for industrial city, which he called a "national manufactory." In 1791, Hamilton helped found the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.), state-chartered private corporation to fulfill this vision. The town of Paterson was founded by the society and named after New Jersey governor, William Paterson, in appreciation of his efforts to promote the society. The city grew to be a major industrial center, where Colt weapons, railroad locomotives, and textiles, most notably silk, were produced. The famous Silk Strike of 1913 drew major labor leaders to Paterson and contributed to changes in labor law and practices.


  • Take a Ranger-led guided walking tours and special programs
  • Download self-guided walking tour and tour the park
  • Visit the Welcome Center
  • Participate in summer programs and children’s activities
  • Visit the Paterson Museum on 2 Market Street, one block from the Park Visitor Center

Journey through Jersey strives to have the most up-to-date information, but always check with the site itself before planning a visit.

Photos courtesy of ©Terry Mckenna