Friday, September 30, 2022

15 Best Waterfalls in New Jersey That You Should Not Miss

New Jersey has what it takes to satiate your wanderlust. Think pristine coastline, pine barrens, broad marshes, the world’s longest boardwalk, rich history, syncretic culture, and whatnot. Not to forget the multiplicity of waterfalls in New Jersey lurking in the wilderness but never away from the access of waterfall chasers. Call them an underrated aspect of NJ’s charming demeanor.

Being around these waterfalls in NJ is a fulfilling experience. Their mesmerizing beauty, thunderous burble, and clouds of mist would stimulate your senses before calming them down. Think of them as a secluded sanctuary for picnicking, hiking, swimming, fishing, and other leisure activities, besides, of course, admiring the stunning views of the water cascading down a cliff. Their verdant and cooler surroundings are perfect for both relaxation and recreation. Simply paradisiacal – isn’t it?

With spring around the corner, it’s time to gas up your cars and head straight to a waterfall nearby. The longer days and fine weather make it easier to satiate your wanderlust with a mini adventure. Plus, the waterfalls, fed by melting glaciers are at their elegant best at this time of the year.

So, why let the sheer number of waterfalls in NJ spoil you for choice. Here’s a comprehensive list of the best 15 options, each with expert tips and more. As only the best gets in, you can narrow down your options minus due diligence. Choosing your next excursion cannot be easier than this.

But before we dive into the best waterfalls in New Jersey, let’s focus on the types of falls first. Even though a waterfall will be a waterfall, knowing the shape helps you fully appreciate its beauty.

Types of Waterfalls in NJ (New Jersey) 

The geometrical shape varies from waterfall to waterfall though, we can broadly classify them as the following. (A spoiler alert, many of these are self-explanatory terms).

  • Plunge: In a typical plunge fall, water takes a plunge from over the cliff while maintaining a distance from the cliff face just prior to merging in the catch pool. Example: The Bridal Veil Falls.
  • Punchbowl: The stream, in a punchbowl is narrow at the top but fans out before reaching the calm catch pool below. It’s ideal for swimming. Example: The Wailua Falls in Kauai, Hawaii.
  • Horsetail: At least some part of the falling stream touches the bedrock throughout the descent, which resembles a horsetail, and, hence, the name. Example: The Burlington Falls in California.
  • Cataract: Herein, the water falls from a cliff in a huge volume, making it the strongest and loudest of all waterfall types. Example: The Victoria Falls on Zambezi River; Gouina Falls, Mali.
  • Chute: Excessive volume of water has to navigate through a congested passage, leading to immense current, froth, and burble. Example: Egan Chute, York River.
  • Cascade: The stream does not leap straight into the pool but cascades down gently over a stair-shaped bedrock. Example: The Dip Falls in Tasmania.
  • Block: The stream assumes the shape of a wide rectangle when falling into the ravine. Many waterfalls in New Jersey belong to this category. Example: Rhine Falls.
  • Fan: The water disperses into multiple streams near the plunge pool without losing contact with the underlying, exposed cliff face. Example: Mill Pond Falls in CT.
  • Slide: The water flows down the slope at a low angle, mimicking a slide. The descent speed is usually slow. Example: Waterwheel Falls in Sierra Nevada, California.
  • Segmented: The water acquires two distinct streams (segments) before or during the descent. Example: Magod Falls in Karnataka, India.

Mind you, falls are often complex enough to don many geometric shapes simultaneously. Say, a fall starts as a Block and transforms into a Horsetail just before making a splash. Besides the geometric classifications, waterfalls are also classified on the volume of water they carry at the verge of the drop. Even though the Water Volume Classification is way more objective way of classifying waterfalls, it is too complicated to deal with. So, let it be another story for another day.

The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey (NJ)

With types out of the way, here’s your rundown on the best waterfalls in New Jersey.

1. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Paterson Great Falls

Paterson Great Falls

  • Address: 72 McBride Ave, Paterson, NJ 07501, United States
  • Park: Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
  • Coordinates: 40.9153° N, 74.1802° W
  • Contact Number: +1 973-523-0370
  • Hours: 6 am to 8:30 pm
  • Height: 72 feet (23 meters)
  • Width: 260 feet (79.25 meters)
  • Type: Block
  • Alternate Name: Passaic Falls, Great Falls
  • Watercourse: Passaic River

Paterson Great Falls in one word is majestic. With a colossal volume of water thundering down from a 72-foot gorge with a 260-foot width, it’s easy to guess why. It is the most voluminous of all falls on the Mississippi River’s east, after the Niagara Falls. Nestled in the eponymous state park in urban NJ on the mighty Passaic River, this national landmark is easy to access and hard to miss. Ferocious and eye-pleasing, the fall tends to photograph well, which is a big draw for shutterbugs.

History:

The significance of Patterson NJ waterfalls cannot be overstated. Even USA’s first industrial town, Paterson, sprang up around these falls in 1792, which went on to emerge as the hub of industry and innovation. From fabrics and steam locomotives to airplane engines and paper, everything was once manufactured here. Simply put, these falls spearheaded the US industrial revolution.

What to do?

  • Venture into the nearby Mary Ellen Kramer Park for some enamoring views and plenty of water spray. Also, it’s ideal for picnicking with plenty of shady, open spaces and picnic tables available.
  • Round off the day with a visit to Paterson for delectable food and an array of iconic buildings like Paterson Museum, Lou Costello Memorial Park, Gun For Hire Shooting Range, and more.
  • While the ferocious current and tough terrain deter hiking, the overhead bridge is an excellent vantage point. Feel free to embark on a ranger-led guided tour into the heart of Patterson Fall.

How to reach Paterson Falls? 

  • Board the Bus 190 from Penn Station NY to Paterson if you prefer public transport. Taking a train from Penn Station to Paterson Station Stop can also be considered.

Tips:

  • If Overlook Park parking is full, Maple Street can be an option. Consider “GLENRO” on weekends.
  • Dress for the weather and avoid going too close to the falls and the brook to ward off incidences.

2. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Hemlock Falls

Hemlock Falls

  • Park: South Mountain Reservation
  • Coordinates: 40.7504° N, 74.2885° W
  • Type: Cascade
  • Height: 25 feet
  • Parking: Tulip Springs parking area
  • Open: 7 days a week
  • Hours: 6 am–8 pm (Thursday & Friday); 7 am to 8:30 pm (other days)

South Mountain Reservation is home to a multitude of waterfalls but none as gorgeous as Hemlock Falls. The water cascades down a 25 feet cliff to create a soothing sight accentuated by the verdant surroundings. Add to it miles of magical trails, Hemlock Falls make for a family outing like no other.

How to Reach?

Pull up inside the Tulip Springs parking lot and take the half-a-mile Lenape Trail (Yellow trail) to have a glimpse of the falls. If you wish to circle the fall, take a 0.6 miles loop. And, if you desire views of the falls from the top, make your way up the set of stairs. The views are mesmerizing from there.

When to visit?

It’s a sight to behold in the wet season, after a rain storm when the volume is the highest and the surroundings are lush. You can even visit it in autumn to witness the fall foliage in all its glory. Winters can be considered as well when the falls are frozen and trails, blanketed in snow.

What to do?

  • From forests and rock formations to wildlife and fairy houses, the trails have a lot to offer.
  • Picnicking is possible in the open spaces near the parking lot with access to restrooms & tables.
  • The shallow swimming hole invites you to take a dip and beat the heat.

Tips:

  • Be equipped to deal with rocky and muddy patches in the wet season. Wear spiked shoes for traction.
  • Reach early, especially on weekends and public holidays to avoid parking hassles.

3. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Buttermilk Falls

Buttermilk Falls

  • Address: Mountain Rd, Layton, NJ 07851, United States
  • Phone: +1 570-426-2452
  • Park: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
  • Watercourse: Delaware River
  • Height: 200 feet
  • Type: Cascade
  • Nearby Attractions: Tillman Falls

Buttermilk is a common name for waterfalls with a dozen alone in Connecticut and one each in New York and New Jersey. However, Buttermilk waterfalls in New Jersey in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area stick out for it’s charm and tranquility. Tucked in the wilderness, this natural wonder exceeds the Niagara Falls in height, making it the tallest and one of the most visited waterfalls in NJ.

With the water gently gliding down a 200 feet cliff to complete a fascinating cascade, the sight could leave you awestruck and clamoring for more. While the Tillman Falls lies south of these falls, half a dozen additional minor falls are upstream. All of them can be covered in a single hiking trail. Buttermilk Falls boasts of a developed viewing area – the wooden walkway overlooking the falls.

How to Reach?

Pull up at the edge of a loop on Mountain Road, take a short stroll towards Tillman Falls and then head straight north. Upon a short and easy hike, you are at the Buttermilk Falls NJ.

What to do?

  • Hiking: Explore the 10.9-km loop trail near Newton, New Jersey. You can complete this moderate hike roughly in three and a half hours. An extended hike is also available for experienced hikers on the Appalachian Trail, which merges into the Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond loop trails.
  • Camping: The area offers developed RV and tent campgrounds with water, sewer and electric hookups available.
  • Picnicking: Just find a picnicking spot at the trailhead, from where the falls are viewable.

Tips:

  • Don’t forget to register personal information with the park Emergency Operations office if you wish to park overnight. This will help you access help in an emergency.
  • Since the park has varying weather patterns, consult the weatherman and planning accordingly.
  • Take the Blue trail, especially in the fall foliage season when it is at its vibrant best.
  • Grilling is allowed but not everywhere. So, check before choosing the spot.

Also read:

 Best Waterfalls in Connecticut

4. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Boonton Falls

Boonton Falls, Grace Lord Park

  • Location: Boonton, NJ 07005, USA
  • County: Morris County
  • Park: Grace Lord Park
  • Coordinates:
  • Watercourse: Rockaway River
  • Height: 22 feet (07 meters)
  • Type: Cascade
  • Hours: 06 am to 8 pm

At times, waterfalls choose the least expected places to reveal themselves. Take, for instance, Boonton Falls. While falls typically manifest in seclusion, Boonton Falls lie in the urban settings of downtown Boonton right off the main street. These falls aren’t just easily accessible but one of the most picturesque waterfalls in NJ as well. Flowing majestically, the Rockaway River encounters a 22-foot cliff in the heart of Grace Lord Park, forcing it to cascade down into a sizable catch pool.

As if one wasn’t enough, there’s another fall constituting Boonton Falls. While the previous fall is visible upon entering the park, the second one is obscured, accessible upon hiking downstream alongside the Rockaway River on a rough trail. The stream slides down a relatively modest slope to create a shallow plunge pool and soul-soothing scenery. As a side note, Boonton Falls once fed the New Jersey Iron Company, contributing to the economic development of Boonton and the US.

How to Reach?

With accessibility being the defining feature, these falls are reachable from either direction of the Rockaway River. We recommend taking the trail on the park’s east side. It’s easy, short and ADA-friendly.

What to Do?

  • Feel free to hike to the top for more immersive views
  • If hiking is in mind, Grace Lord Park has you covered with multiple trails
  • Access the gazebo near the crest for some spectacular views of the surroundings
  • Bring your fishing gear along and help yourself to some catch at the plunge pool.
  • Kids can enjoy the slide and merry-go-round within the park, near the entrance.
  • Kayaking is also possible provided you are a professional kayaker.

Tips:

  • Head a few meters away from the ridge along the river for the best backdrop for photos. However, mind your step as the rocks here are moss ridden and slippery.
  • Round off the day with a visit to Boonton town. It’s a quaint, little town offering delectable food and recreational activities for minors and adults alike.

5. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Tillman Falls

Tillman Falls, Stokes State Forest

  • Location: Wanaque, NJ 07465, USA
  • Latitude / Longitude: 41.1578733 / -74.8585019
  • Coordinate: 41° 09′ 28.33″ N & 74° 51′ 30.60″ W
  • County: Sussex
  • Park: Stokes State Forest
  • Elevation: 712 feet (217 meters)
  • Hours: 08 am to 08 pm
  • Contact Number: +1 (973) 948-3820

Perched in the namesake ravine in Sussex County next to the Buttermilk Falls, Tillman Falls is a spectacle. Tucked away in the wilderness of Stokes State Forest, they aren’t as tall as the Buttermilk Falls but a crowd puller nonetheless. Here, Tillman Brook plunges down the gorge to merge with Big Flat Brook. For most part, the fall is a trickle but can be ferocious after a rainstorm. The downed logs scattered all across the ravine suggest its violent disposition. Given the location, it is hard to locate without GPS.

How to Reach?

You can occupy any of the two parking lots on Dimon Road and head straight on the Tillman Ravine trail. A short walk through the lush forest will get you to Tillman Falls. Endure a hike to get to the top of the falls for the best views. Also, take the picturesque Appalachian Trail for a detour of Buttermilk Falls.

What to do?

As one of the most sought-after waterfalls in NJ, Tillman Falls and the park it is nestled in offer a potpourri of experiences to hikers. Take a 2-mile short, shady, and gorgeous hike to the Walpack Cemetery. If you can endure a longer trail, head on the Mapple Trail located on top of the gorge. Convenient and short, the Van Campen Glen trail can also be considered.

Tips:

  • Incorporate a short hike to Buttermilk Falls if one waterfall isn’t satisfying for you.
  • Don’t venture here after a rainstorm when the trail is too risky.

6. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Chikahori Falls

Chikahori Falls, Norvin Green State Forest

  • Location: 150 Snake Den Rd, Ringwood, NJ 07456, United States
  • County: Bloomingdale
  • Park: Norvin Green State Forest
  • Alternate Name: Chika Falls
  • Height: 25 feet (08 meters)
  • Type: Horsetail
  • Watercourse: Post Brook
  • Pets: Allowed but on a leash
  • Nearby Falls: Posts Brook Falls (0.41 miles), Otter Hole Falls (0.89 miles), Wyanokie Falls (1.58 miles)

You’ll be digging deep into a dense woodland to discover this hidden gem. And, the ordeal is worth it. Even though they aren’t as tall as some other waterfalls in NJ, vouch for them for eye appeal. The stream narrows down in the initial part of the drop and fans out before making a subtle splash. The water gliding down nicely on a modest cliff while shifting shape leaves you speechless. The verdant and calm surroundings and fresh air will just further your experience. Fitness permitting, climb to the Wyanokie High Point for the best views of the splendid Chikahori Falls.

What to do?

  • Experienced hikers flock to the multiple trails leading to these falls and beyond. An easy, 2.2 miles trail is for newbies, treating you to some stunning falls, woodlands and diverse flora and fauna. It’s well-marked as well – just follow the blue markers. Or, take the 6.6-mile Highland-Post Brook-Carris Hill Trail, fitness permitting. It’s challenging, taking around 2&1/2 hours.
  • It attracts picnickers with plenty of flat spaces where you can sit, relax and munch.
  • Feel free to plunge into the shallow, quiet swimming hole on a hot summer day to cool off.

Tips:

  • While the falls are shaded, you are advised to carry sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Don proper hiking gear, especially if you are hiking to the Wyanokie High Point.

7. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Van Campens Glen

Van Campens Glen, Delaware Water Gap

  • Location: Old Mine Rd, Layton, NJ 07851, USA
  • Park: Delaware Water Gap Recreational Park
  • Watercourse: Campens Brook
  • Type: Cascade
  • Trailhead: 2 miles long, out and back

The Delaware Water Gap is home to another natural wonder, Van Campen’s Glen. The Van Campen’s Brook glides down majestically over a rough ledge, creating a moderately-sized yet aesthetically pleasing drop. The woodsy ambience is a bonus if you seek respite from the cacophony of the city and wish to immerse yourself in seclusion. The drop results in a vast catch pool below, sending out clouds of mist during the wet season. Control the urge to swim, wade or even jump into the pool, however. Such activities have led to incidences in the past, and hence, strictly prohibited.

When to visit?

As one of the top waterfalls in NJ, Van Campen’s Glen is gorgeous, worth-visiting all year round. However, fall is the ideal time to visit to witness the foliage in all its glory, which complements the already bewitching cascade. Prefer not to visit it in winter to avoid icy and slippery trails.

How to Reach?

Head to the Millbrook Village and take south to get to the Old Mine Road from where the trail to Van Campen’s Glen emanates. Once there, let the yellow blazes guide you to your destination.

What to do?

  • The hike from Old Mine Road is cool, shady, and flat. Not much hiking skill is required to navigate this mile-long loop. With an elevation gain of 195 feet, it passes through an old-growth forest and multiple minor falls, treating you to breathtaking vistas, tranquility and fall foliage in autumn.
  • While swimming is proscribed here, picnicking is a great option. Just spread your picnic mat near the base of the waterfall and enjoy some quality time with family and friends.

Tips:

  • Don’t forget to stop at the Millbrook Village after spending time at the falls. From restaurants to heritage sites, it has everything to complement your experience.
  • Watch your step when hiking to the falls. The trailhead runs parallel to the brook and at times, at the water’s edge. The moss-ridden rocks can be slippery.

8. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Ramapo Falls

Ramapo Falls, Ramapo Valley Reservation

  • Location: Wanaque, NJ 07465, USA
  • County: Bergen
  • Park: Ramapo Valley Reservation
  • Watercourse: Ramapo River
  • Dogs: Allowed but on a leash

Ramapo Valley Reservation is 4,000 acres of secluded sanctuary for peace seekers and adrenaline junkies alike. The county park is home to a namesake waterfall, counted among the most lucrative waterfalls in NJ. The waterfall is derived from the Ramapo River’s descent over a reasonable cliff to create a bemusing pool with sparkling water that’s accentuated by a serene surroundings.

When to visit?

Ramapo Falls welcomes you all year round but is best enjoyed in spring and wet season. The otherwise trickle gets voluminous and deafening loud as it drops from the precipice.

How to Reach?

From New York City, drive to the Ramapo Valley Reservation in Mahwah. Next, take the Vista Loop and follow the yellow blazes into the wilderness to get to this hidden gem.

What to do?

  • The Ramapo Overlook to Lake Todd and Waterfall Trail is a beautiful loop, suitable for all fitness levels. On this 3.5-km out-and-back trail, expect scenic landscapes, a stunning lake, and soul-satisfying serenity before landing at the destination. The trail also allows mountain biking.
  • Enjoy a picnic while gazing at the gorgeous Lake Toddlake. Your canine friends can accompany you but on a leash.
  • Head straight to the nearby MacMillan Reservoir for fishing. Who knows you might end up catching Largemouth bass, Chain pickerel or Pumpkinseed.

Tips:

  • Be well prepared to ace the trail, which can be challenging at times.
  • Start early to enjoy some solitude or you’ll be dealing with crowds.

9. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Wyanokie Falls

Wyanokie Falls, Ramapo Valley Conservation

  • Location: Wanaque, NJ 07465, USA
  • County: Bergen
  • Park: Ramapo Valley Conservation
  • Watercourse: Blue Mine Brook

If you think Ramapo Falls is the sole waterfall worth its salt in the Ramapo Valley Conservation, it’s time to broaden your horizons. Meet the Wyanokie Falls, tucked away on the western side of the reserve waiting to be explored. Attribute this fall to the Blue Mine Brook’s short and eventful descent over a rough, rocky gorge. The drop is small but beautiful, especially when the stream is strong. Just gaze at the glistening water and listen to the roar, your worries are bound to vanish.

When to Visit?

The stream is stronger in spring, presenting a sight to behold. Although heavy rainstorms can produce a similar effect, the slippery trailheads are risky to navigate in the wet season.

How to Reach?

Reach Ringwood and take a stroll via the New Weis Centre. Head on the Otter Hole trail and shift to the Mine Trail. Finally, take the Roomy Mine Trail to get to the Wyanokie Falls.

What to do?

Want to fully explore the area? If yes, then the 8.1-mile hike to the Wyanokie High point makes sense. From delightful falls to glacial erratics, the loop has a lot more than what you bargained for. The hike is challenging with some vertical climbs but worth it. Also, pack a picnic to further the experience.

Tips:

  • Carry plenty of water. You’ll need it during the long, tiring hike.
  • Use sunscreen as certain parts of the trailhead lacks shade.

10. The Best Waterfalls in New Jersey: Silver Spray Falls

Silver Spray Falls

  • Location: Layton, NJ 07851, United States
  • County: Sussex
  • Park: Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area
  • Alternate Name: Hidden Falls
  • Height: 60 feet (18 meters) total drop
  • Highest Drop: 45 feet (14 meters)
  • Watercourse: Unnamed tributary of the Flat Brook

Silver Spray Falls lurks deep in the Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area, waiting to flabbergast you. The waterfall presents a scenic view with water taking a free fall from a 60 feet Kittatinny Ridge after passing through a verdant glen. You’ll spend hours gazing at one of the coveted waterfalls in NJ without even batting an eyelid. The free fall sprays the glistening water to send out tiny droplets of water into the woodsy environment. Perhaps, that’s where the name, Silver Spray comes from.

Speaking of name, they even call it the “Hidden Falls” for its idyllic location, perched deep in the wilderness with minimal human interference. The unmarked trail leading to the falls doesn’t make things easy either. You might fail to discover it on your first visit, especially in lack of GPS assistance. If in a rare case, Silver Spray Falls fails to amaze you, a few other falls upstream can be explored. Mind you, the access is challenging with a steep ravine and disappearing trails to deal with.

When to visit?

While Silver Spray Falls is a sight to behold all year round, its simply stunning in spring when the weather is just ideal for a short hike (and treasure hunt). But if you can endure the chill, winters can be an opportune time as well to savor the partially frozen fall and utter privacy. All things being equal, avoid visiting during the wet season as the trail is too dangerous to navigate safely.

How to Reach?

From Walpack Center, take Tillman Road and drive half a mile before heading onto Mountain Road. Upon covering one and a half miles, pull up at the parking lot meant for hikers only. when there, look to your left to find an unblazed yet picturesque trail that leads straight to the Silver Spray Falls.

What to do?

The hike is short and shady, spiraling through a gorge with a dense rhododendron and hemlock forest. And, when you successfully navigate your way through an unmarked trail, it’s time to sit back, relax and watch the fall unfolding at its vibrant best. Once you have had your fill, consider hiking to Buttermilk Falls located just five miles away. Picnicking is also an option near the fall.

Nearby Falls

Some of the best waterfalls in New Jersey are located nearby, including Buttermilk Falls (0.63 miles), Tillman Falls (1.59 miles), Tumbling Waters Falls (2.70 miles), and High Falls (3.46 miles).

Tips:

  • The Silver Spray Falls are visible only upon crossing the stream. However, choose the spot to cross carefully, especially during early spring when the current is strong.
  • Don’t head straight uphill or you run the risk of going astray.
  • Reach early, as the parking lot for the trail can accommodate only a couple of cars.
  • It’s wise to use GPS assistance or accompany someone who has been there before.

11. Otter Hole

Otter Hole

  • Location: Ringwood, NJ 07456, USA
  • Park: Norvin Green State Forest
  • Height: 10 feet (3 meters)
  • Nearby Waterfalls: Chikahoki Falls (0.89 miles), Posts Brook Falls (1.3 miles), Wyanokie Falls (2 miles)

Otter Hole is a strange name for a waterfall and a distinguishing factor at that. Sitting pretty in the heart of Norvin Green State Forest, it’s one of the most picturesque waterfalls in NJ, frequented by tourists and locals alike all year round. With an unassuming 10 feet drop, the fall isn’t that towering but worth visiting. The sight of water plunging down a narrow ravine set in a lush, serene backdrop of the Norvin Green can heal your woes, at least temporarily. Visitors heading to the Chikahoki Falls often stop by to relax and soak in the beauty.

How to Reach?

Reach the pull-up area just at the intersection of Otter Hole Rd and Glenwild Avenue. Head onto the Highland Trail and follow the blue blazes to get to the Otter Hole.

When to visit?

The fall is accessible throughout the year but at its vibrant best in spring. Even though the trail is pretty after a snowfall, you’ll be snowshoeing the hostile and slippery terrain.

What to do?

You have plenty of hiking options to get here, the Otter Hole Trail for one. The 5.4-mile out-and-back trail gets underway in Bloomingdale and can be accomplished in just over two hours. You might meet some trail runners on this trail. The Otter Hole, Highlands & Hewitt-Buttler Loop can also be considered if you are longing for a more extensive hiking experience. Accomplishable in just over three hours, this moderate, 10-km loop starts at Ringwood and is popular among birders and bikers. The grade is steep in certain sections.

Tips:

  • The dirt road leading to the parking lot can be muddy after rains. So, drive carefully.
  • Notwithstanding the length, the Otter Hole Trail is family-friendly. Consider taking your family and dogs along.

12. Stony Brook Falls

Stony Brook Falls

  • Location: Kittle Field, New Jersey
  • County: Sussex
  • Park: Stokes State Forest
  • Watercourse: Stony Brook
  • Number of Falls: 2
  • Types: Multi-Stepped, Cascade
  • Total Height: 27 feet (8 meters)
  • Highest Fall: 15 feet

Feast your eyes on the stunning twin falls – one stepped and the other angled. The falls occur on Stony Brook, which emanates from Stony Lake and culminates in Big Flat Brook. The Upper Stony Brook Falls glides into the narrow opening of a stone wall, which was a part of an obsolete mill. It plunges into the pool below to form an enticing multi-stepped geometric shape. The Lower Stony Brook Falls lies downstream just a stone’s throw away, pouring down on a stair-shaped red shale cliff. With stunning individual characteristics, these waterfalls in NJ form an awe-inspiring duo that enchants and relaxes.

How to Reach?

Pull up at the Kittle Field Picnic Area and take on a well-defined trail running parallel to Stony Brook. A stroll downstream from the picnic area will get you to your destination.

When to visit?

Anytime from April to November is good. Additional cascades spring up during the rainy season, which is a bonus. Winters can be considered if you crave a challenging hike.

What to do?

Satiate your cravings for a challenging hike with the Stony Brook Trail Via Appachalian Trail Loop. ideal for backpacking, camping, and cross-country skiing, the 5.8-mile hike starts near Frankford Township and can be accomplished in two and a half hours. It’s open all year round but looks stunning during winters after a snowfall. The Kittle Field Picnic Area, the jumping-off point for the Stony Brook Trail, is a designated area for family and group picnics. You are better off packing your picnic for some quality time.

13. Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls, Worthington State Forest

  • Location: Warren County, New Jersey, United States
  • Alternate Name: Worthington State Forest Waterfall
  • Park: Worthington State Forest
  • Type: Cascades
  • Total Height: 75 feet (23 meters)
  • Number of Drops: 3
  • Watercourse: Sunfish Creek
  • Nearby Waterfalls: Big Tocks Creek Falls (1.02 miles), Buttermilk Falls (2.65 miles), Twin Falls (2.65 miles), Dunnfield Creek Falls (3.39 miles), Kittatinny Falls (3.73 miles), Caldeno Falls (3.78 miles), Marshall Falls (4.01 miles)

No list of waterfalls in New Jersey is complete without Laurel Falls. Located in the Worthington State Forest, this waterfall is as ravishing as it gets. It is a series of 3 falls on Sunfish Creek’s short yet eventful journey from Sunfish Pond to the Delaware River. The fall represents a cascade shape with a collective height of 75 feet. Clamoring for more? Breathe easy! Some stunning falls are within five miles, including Buttermilk Falls (2.65 miles), Dunnfield Creek Falls (3.39 miles), Kittatinny Falls (3.73 miles), and more.

How to Reach?

Drive to the Douglas parking on Old Mine Road and head straight on an unmarked trail to get to the lowest cascade. Next, cover the blue-blazed Douglas Trail upstream to access the second section of the falls. Mind you, the gradient is too steep. To reach the final section, continue climbing uphill. Again, the gradient gets steeper, testing your endurance to the hilt.

What to do?

Keen to add another dimension to your experience? Feel free to extend the waterfall hike to Mount Tammany. Conquering the 1,527 feet tall peak is challenging but the views of the Delaware Water Gap from up there will make up for your efforts and perseverance.

Tips:

  • Not as ravishing as the first two cascades, the final section can be skipped outright if you can’t navigate a steep gradient.
  • Carry plenty of water if you don’t want to roll boil the water from the waterfall to make it drinkable. Beware, the untreated water harbors germs like Giardia.

14. Hacklebarney State Park Waterfall

Hacklebarney State Park Waterfall

  • Location: 119 Hacklebarney Rd, Long Valley, NJ 07853
  • Park: Hacklebarney State Park
  • Watercourse: Trout Brook

Hacklebarney State Park attracts an influx of hikers, birders, picnickers, and, of course, waterfall chasers. The reserve is home to multiple falls in virtually all shapes and sizes, from horseshoe trickles to gushing cascades. However, an eponymous waterfall on Trout Brook stands out for its charm. The Trout Brook gliding over grey boulders and surrounded by lush moss and hemlocks creates a vista that etches into the memory. Just take a stroll downstream to get to the “scenic lookout” – a vantage point for the best views.

What to do?

Hacklebarney State Park boasts over nine hiking trails that can be paired with the waterfall hike to further your experience. Taking the main trail makes sense as it’s short (3.5 miles), shady and takes you across three waterfalls. You can enjoy a foliage show if you visit in the fall. The birdwatching avenues are readily available in the upland and wetland habitats.

Tips:

  • Keep maps of the trails handy. You might need them to stay on track.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch when hiking through the main trail, which offers some outstanding picnic spots.
  • Wear comfortable shoes to prevent discomfort during the hike. Mind you, the terrain is rugged.

15. Tinton Falls

Tinton Falls

  • County: Monmouth
  • Height: About 25 feet

Nestled in Monmouth County in a namesake town, Tinton Falls keeps a steady stream of visitors seeking respite from their daily chores. They aren’t voluminous but picturesque and calming, that’s why. Records tell us that these falls were over 30 feet in height in the 17th century. Even though erosion and dam took a toll, no other fall on the state’s coastal plain can match their height.

What to do? 

  • A wooden platform at 741 Tinton Avenue is an excellent vantage point to savor the beauty of Tinton Falls.
  • Round off your day with a visit to Tinton Falls town where heritage buildings, restaurants and shopping malls await you.

Conclusion

The most underrated aspect of the Garden State is the multiplicity of waterfalls dotting its entire area. These waterfalls in New Jersey are beautiful enough to make you hike for miles to be up close and personal with them, whether alone or with family or friends. So, that was Dunia Ka Gyan’s take on the top waterfalls in NJ that deserve your time. For more such informative content, stay tuned.

Waterfalls in NJ (New Jersey): FAQs

How many waterfalls are there in New Jersey?

It’s hard to put a figure on the number of waterfalls in New Jersey. Some are seasonal and some are too unassuming to be classified as waterfalls. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) lists 83 waterfalls. However, the report is still incomplete.

Which is the tallest waterfall in New Jersey?

Nestled in Stokes State Forest, Buttermilk Falls is the tallest fall in NJ with a staggering height of over 200 feet. It’s also one of the most ravishing and easily accessible falls.

Are there any freshwater waterfalls in NJ?

A majority of waterfalls in NJ are freshwater waterfalls. Only the ones occurring in the saltwater area are saltwater.

Can I take dogs to the New Jersey Waterfalls?

All waterfalls in NJ allow dogs, save for Buttermilk Falls, Stephens Falls, and Waterloo Falls. However, ensure they are on a 6 feet leash.

Rohit Kumar
Rohit Kumar
Passionate about content quality and attention to detail, Rohit has penned over 15,000 copies for some of the leading online and offline publications in their eight-year career. Currently heading the content team at Dunia Ka Gyan, he believes in team spirit, ingenuity, and collective growth.

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