By KIMBERLY REDMOND
PATERSON, NJ – In the era of COVID-19, more and more people are looking for a place to safely and easily escape to. With quarantining requirements in place between many states, staying close to home has become the norm and road trips have become the preferred way to briefly get away.
To help folks find semi-local destinations, Airbnb, the popular vacation rental website, compiled a list of “Great Escapes Outside of New York City” and named the Great Falls National Historic Park as one the best day trips in the tri-state area.
“No need to drive all the way to Niagara Falls to feel Mother Nature’s power,” the website wrote. “The 77-foot-high cascade at Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park in Paterson holds the silver medal as far as waterfall volumes east of the Mississippi go.”
After being wowed by the Falls, stick around and take the self-guided Mill Mile walking tour, which starts at the statue of Alexander Hamilton – Paterson’s founding father.
When Hamilton founded Paterson in 1791, he realized energy could be harnessed from the Great Falls to transform it into the country’s first planned industrial city, a hub for manufacturing silk, textile and steel.
The 10-stop tour aims to teach about the history, geology, social and cultural importance of the area surrounding the roaring waterfall. Locations on the tour include: Mary Ellen Kramer Park, Upper Raceway Park, Rogers Locomotive Works, Rosen Mill, Middle Raceway and the Paterson Museum.
The Great Falls National Park is the centerpiece of a larger revitalization effort planned in the city, one that Mayor Andre Sayegh believes will turn Paterson into “a desirable destination for years to come.”
Since taking office in 2018, Sayegh has made it his mission to revitalize New Jersey’s third largest city, making it a place to live, work, and play and has said he believes the city is poised to make a comeback for many reasons, including its diverse population and rich history.
“I’ll gladly put the beauty of Paterson’s Great Falls against any piece of nature in New Jersey, across the country, or around the globe,” Sayegh told TAPinto Paterson. “Obviously I’m thrilled with Airbnb ranking our National Park and the surrounding area as a great escape trip, but I tell them that with the rehabilitation of Hinchliffe Stadium, the development of a world class visitor center, the future of Quarry Lawn, and so much else on the horizon, we’re not settling until Paterson is a destination not just as a day trip, but for visitors from all over the world!”