Urban Exploring around Great Falls

Jesse Fried • Feb 12, 2019


A lot of Paterson's old mills are now apartments, but more than a few are just rubble. The area around the Great Falls is extremely strange. Just past the touristy area with its nice pedestrian bridges, statues and plaques things get weird quickly. On the north side of the river (not in Paterson proper) there in abandoned baseball stadium now turned into a parking lot which can only be accessed through a hole in the fence. Near here are some urban woods containing cliffs with an incredible view of the city, the Watchung Mountains, the Palisades and the NYC skyline, and festering piles of garbage. On the south side of the river are all the old raceways, now empty of water but still crossed by small bridges. Following one of these, and climbing down towards the river a bit among rusting metal pipes, you can get to a paradise of post industrial decay. Some major industrial facilities are just rotting in place, roofs caved in, overgrown with trees, boilers pipes and machines rusting, whole galleries of spray paint art, the evidence of various past moments of debauchery, garbage of all kinds, and at least one active homeless encampment. Around here is a great illustration of local geology, where the bedrock is cut away into a sheer cliff, and you can see some alternation between thick basalt flows and thin beds of red sandstone. Great Falls at Paterson




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