When many think of New Jersey, they don’t often think of wide-open spaces and nature. However, New Jersey is home to some of the most beautiful hikes that feature dazzling waterfalls. We have compiled a list of where to see waterfalls in New Jersey. Though some are very popular, there are a couple of hidden gems as well that everyone should visit. Check out this updated guide and drop by your favorites or even all of them!
Lake Solitude Waterfall – High Bridge
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♬ Fantasy – Alina Baraz / Galimatias
Known for the 2020 viral TikTok video that put this spot on the map, Lake Solitude has become a recent tourist destination. The falls are the product of a dam built in 1909 and is currently owned by Green Acres’ conservation program. The enormous dam looks almost ancient with steps descending from its walls every few feet. Because this spot has become more popular, tourists have polluted the water more than other falls, so please be respectful when visiting. Nevertheless, Lake Solitude is amazing to visit.
Buttermilk Falls – Layton
Buttermilk Falls takes second place to The Great Falls as the largest waterfall in New Jersey, but it takes first place for the tallest! Buttermilk Falls is the tallest waterfall in New Jersey with an elevation change of 1,104 feet. Beginner hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of this waterfall on a hike that stretches 1.4 miles. The waterfall is located near the beginning of the falls, so you can’t miss it! For those expert hikers up for a challenge, continue on the path towards the Appalachian National Scenic Trail for views of the valley below.
Boonton Falls – Boonton
Many know Boonton is home to a quaint and charming town, but what they don’t know is that it is also home to a spectacular waterfall. Named after Thomas Boone in 1761, the town was home to a booming iron mill that was later driven out of business by a competitor. Though the town has lost its economic prowess, Boonton Falls is still there for us to enjoy. It may not be the largest waterfall, flowing from a height of 20 feet, but it is certainly one of the prettiest. Hikers can enjoy this natural landmark by starting on the trail in Grace Lord Park. Towards the end of the trail, spectators will also find an ancient stone railroad bridge from 1866. All around, an expedition to this waterfall is certainly rewarding.
Silver Spray Falls – Layton
Also known as “Hidden Falls,” Silver Spray Falls is just a stone’s throw away from Buttermilk Falls. If you choose to visit after heavy rainfall, spectators are sure to see a beautiful cascade splashing over layers of stone. Located just a half mile away from Buttermilk, hikers need to walk north on Mountain Road to find it. It’s a quarter of a mile from the trailhead and across the stream. The trail is not well marked, but that’s just part of the charm of this waterfall.
Ramapo Waterfall – Mahwah
The Appalachian Mountains, once again, make an appearance when it comes to Ramapo Waterfall. Located in the Ramapo Valley County Reservation, this waterfall runs through the Ramapo Mountains, a forested chain of the Appalachians. The waterfall can be accessed by any of the five conjoining two-mile trails in the park. The trails are moderately difficult, but the views are worth it. Best seen in the spring after heavy rainfall, this waterfall contains many streams running down towering rocks.
Hemlock Falls – South Orange
Hemlock Falls is another of the most popular waterfalls in New Jersey, with both beautiful scenery and historic roots. With a height of 25 feet, this waterfall is best seen in the winter when it’s frozen or after a heavy rainfall. Located in South Mountain Reservation, the park has easy and moderate trail options for hikers. If you want to see a historic landmark, be sure to stop at Washington Rock. This is where a signal beacon warned the army at Morristown of the British army approaching during the Revolutionary War. Bring your little ones to view the tiny homes made of nature called “fairy homes,” which can be seen along the path.
Tillman Falls – Layton
Before you make your way to Buttermilk or Silver Spray Falls, start at Tillman Falls. Located In Stokes State Park, Tillman Falls is also along the Appalachian Trail just before Buttermilk and other neighboring waterfalls. Though only 10 feet in stature, this northeast waterfall is beautifully calm and isolated. For those who want to avoid the crowds and commune with nature, this is a perfect stop. Park in the Stokes State Park parking lot and follow the one mile trail down towards the creek to see this waterfall.
Peanut Leap Cascade – Alpine
If you haven’t hiked Peanut Leap Cascade, make it one of your next hiking spots. Known as one of the best hikes in New Jersey, this trail leads to the beautiful Peanut Leap Waterfall which is a must-see. Located in Palisades Park, the hike is steep and contains rock scrambles, but it’s worth it. Hikers can see the falls best after heavy rainfall when it deposits into the Hudson River. The views of the Hudson on this trail are breathtaking. As a bonus, be sure to look for the ruins of an old 1900s garden called “The Italian Gardens,” built by a woman who used to summer vacation at the falls.
Tinton Falls – Tinton Falls
Standing at 30 feet tall is Tinton Falls, a gem of a waterfall named after the town in which it resides. This waterfall was once known as one of the largest waterfalls on the New Jersey coast, but due to its usage for power to the city, it has now diminished in size. Nevertheless, this waterfall is beautiful and can be best viewed on a wooden platform located at 741 Tinton Ave. As with every waterfall, Tinton Falls is best seen after a heavy rainfall.
Worthington State Forest Waterfalls – Columbia
Also known as Laurel Falls, there are two charming waterfalls located in Worthington State Park. The first is Upper Laurel Falls, a cascade with two drops separated by a short distance. The second is Lower Laurel Falls, a trickle of a waterfall surrounded by stunning scenery. The park contains 26 miles of trails, seven of which are part of the Appalachian Trail. The falls are five minutes away from the Douglas Trail parking lot. Though a short hike, I recommend you take in all the scenery as this is one of the more calming waterfalls in New Jersey. Keep an eye out as well for some smaller cascades, including Dunnfield Creek Falls, running off of Sunfish Pond.
Chikahoki Falls – Bloomingdale
For all of you expert hikers out there, this one’s for you. The hike to Chikahoki Falls is as challenging as it is beautiful. With four miles of rough terrain, hikers will get their money’s worth when they see the views this waterfall offers. Located in the middle of Norvin Green Forest, the best view of the falls can be seen at Wyanokie High Point. Hikers report views of New York City as well as a refreshing swimming hole at the base for your troubles. Chikahoki Falls is certainly a popular summer favorite.
Otter Hole Falls – Bloomingdale
Though located in the same park as Chikahoki Falls, Otter Hole deserves a category of its own. Hikers who have set out to see Chikahoki Falls are always pleasantly surprised when they almost immediately run into Otter Hole on their trail. Gushing from a bed of rocks, this small, quaint cascade is worth a stop before the rocky descent towards Chikahoki Falls. Be sure to show it some love and snap a picture for the books.
Hacklebarney State Park Waterfall – Long Valley
Hacklebarney State Park is waterfall central as it contains numerous small and medium size waterfalls. The park surrounds Black River and there are many different paths to reach it. The safest is the red trail. Follow that trail up the hill until you reach a stone staircase. As you descend the staircase, you’ll see a plethora of small cascades providing a relaxing ambiance. This spot is widely popular, so be sure to catch the views earlier in the morning or during the week!
Tumble Falls – Frenchtown
Named for the way the water “tumbles” over the rocks, Tumble Falls is an excellent waterfall excursion. Tumble Falls offers various creeks that flow into the Delaware River. The current can be powerful after a heavy rainfall which adds an exciting splash to the sandstones surrounding the cascade. The hike is short to visit this waterfall, perfect for those looking for a stroll.
Watchung Reservation Waterfall – Mountainside
Watchung Reservation Waterfall results from a 50-foot wide and 10-foot high dam. Though man-made, it truly is beautiful. The waterfall resides in the historical reservation which was designed by Olmsted Brothers, the same landscape architects that designed New York’s Central Park. Be sure to hike the six-mile history trail that visits historic landmarks of Union County.
Van Campens Glen Falls – Hardwick Township
A popular destination, Van Campens Glen Falls is the perfect “hike then relax” endeavor. To see the waterfall, individuals must make a moderate hike of a little over a mile. The destination is beautiful, with spots to enjoy a picnic lunch and take a dip in the large pool at the base of the rock face. It’s recommended that hikers visit during the week as it can be crowded on the weekends.
Greenbrook Falls – Tenafly
Visit this waterfall in any season as it will always be flowing. Starting from 250 feet high, Greenbrook Falls is one of the largest in New Jersey. Located next to Peanut Leap Cascade in Palisades Park, this waterfall resides in its own Greenbrook Sanctuary. It requires a membership to visit, but the sight of the waterfall spilling into the Hudson River is worth it.
Apshawa Falls – West Milford
Enjoy a three-mile hike along Apshawa Brook to see this quaint yet pleasant waterfall! You may even find a few smaller cascades, as well as you, roam the forest. Along the water’s edge, hikers will also run into the ruins of an old 1900s water tank and a dam. If you’re interested in some longer exercise with intriguing visuals, this may be the waterfall for you!
Schooley’s Mountain Falls – Long Valley
With a great effort-to-reward ratio, Schooley Mountain Falls is a scenic and surprising destination. If you take the Falling Waters Trail on Schooley’s Mountain, you will be hiking rocky terrain but only for one mile round-trip and always in the shade. At the end of your journey, you’ll find the waterfall gushing into a pool below where you can dip your feet.
Little Falls – Little Falls
Located in the town from which it derives its name, Little Falls is not so little. Created by the dam, the falls yield impressive cascades. The waterfall originates from the Morris Canal Preserve built in 1826 and is the pride of the town. Little Falls has four scenic hikes to view the waterfall with the shortest being 16 minutes along the Morris Canal and the longest being two hours. The choice is yours!
Bridal Veil Falls – North Haledon
Bridal Veil Falls is one of the most unknown yet underrated waterfalls in New Jersey. Located in North Haledon on the outskirts of William Paterson University, this cascade begins at 40 feet and plunges into a pool beneath. The waterfall is in the midst of an old sandstone quarry. The best part is that hikers can follow the trail to a cave behind the waterfall and enjoy an up-close look at the natural beauty!
Stony Brook Falls – Branchville
Visit Stoke State Forest after a heavy rainfall to see a multitude of smaller waterfalls. Also known as Stepping Stone Falls, Stony Brook Falls contains two cascades that glide over stone and roots into pools below. For an easy hiking experience, take the one-mile Stony Brook trail to one of the waterfalls. Extend your hike onto the Silver Mine trail or Blue Mountain Loop to see both waterfalls. Be prepared for a long, moderate hike if you decide to extend your stay to see these views!
Bass Lake Falls – Blairstown
Just east of Bobcat Alley lies Blair Creek Preserve, the home of Bass Lake Falls. The preserve is in Northwest Jersey and connects the Appalachian and Highland mountain ranges. Ball Lake Falls is unknown to many but still a wonderful site. For a truly extraordinary experience, visit this waterfall just miles from the Delaware River and say hello to a New Jersey bobcat.
Scudder Falls – Ewing
Though Scudder Falls could be classified as rapids rather than a waterfall, its namesake lands it in the waterfall category. Located on the Jersey side of the Delaware River, this waterfall is caused by an old stone and wood beam diversion dam built in the 1800s. Though the dam has since deteriorated, there are some lovely features of this rapid like falls that can be enjoyed by boat.
Lockatong Waterfall – Stockton
The secluded Lockatong Waterfall is a hidden gem in New Jersey. Being widely unknown, this is a great spot to visit if you are looking to get away from the crowds. The waterfall cascades into a deep pool by the edge of a 10-foot cliff. Visit this elusive waterfall in the summer for a refreshing swim and riveting cliff jumping.
The Great Falls – Paterson
Perhaps the most impressive and popular waterfalls in New Jersey is The Great Falls. This 77-foot waterfall is the second largest waterfall by volume east of the Mississippi River. The Great Falls had extraordinary historical beginnings. It was the epicenter of the first industrial city in the U.S. established in 1791 by Alexander Hamilton. Not only did it make its mark centuries ago, but it also made its debut in pop culture when it cameoed in an episode of The Sopranos.
About the Author/s
Gabrielle is an Editorial Assistant Intern at The Digest. After graduating from Grove City College with a degree in Communications, she worked in corporate sales for a year before giving in to her long-lost passion for writing. Known as the “investigative journalist” at her alma mater’s newspaper, Gabrielle loves uncovering the facts and weaving them into a compelling story. Having lived in New Jersey her whole life, this news journalist turned editorial writer aims to put the hidden gems of The Garden State on the map. If you ever can’t find her, odds are she’s gone ghost protocol at her favorite Jersey beach.