2023 – Paterson NJ’s Great Falls & Re-Born Hinchliffe Stadium 5-6-23

                                     (Ignore April 30, 2017 publish date – this was published on May 13, 2023)


For those of you who might be unaware of Paterson’s crown jewels, the Falls – “discovered” by Alexander Hamilton – are the second-highest U.S. falls east of the Mississippi River and Hinchliffe Stadium is one of two Negro Leagues stadiums still standing………….and they’re right next to each other, less than 15 miles from Manhattan!

This is a great two-fer destination if you’re within driving distance of NYC.

I live less than 10 miles from the Falls, which I’ve visited (and photographed) many times in the last 40 years. I took the above picture – probably my favorite straight-on falls shot – 36 years ago (if you’re math-challenged, that would be 1987).

Hinchliffe, on the other hand, was not on my Attractions radar for a good amount of that time because it was a dilapidated hulk that had fallen into disrepair a long time ago.

That’s changed in recent years as there has been a concerted effort to bring the old girl back to life. Over the last several years, I have made little oh-by-the-way side-trips to the stadium after viewing the Falls and photographed it along the way to respectability and now it’s going to happen!

A minor league baseball team has signed a contract to play there and – because the stadium is owned by the Paterson Board of Education – the schools are scheduling games to be played there.

Unfortunately, games that were scheduled to kick off the new stadium on May 7, 2023, had to be postponed because the stadium work couldn’t be completed in time due to excessive recent rain – the reason I went to visit the Falls on May 6 (the Falls are super-mighty – and highly photogenic – after big rains).

Baseball dugouts hadn’t been built yet and a track surface that was supposed to circle the field couldn’t be laid down.


The last time I visited the stadium – 8 months ago – I entered it via a work entrance (I thought no one was there, but someone saw me) and I managed to negotiate being allowed to take ONE picture before being thrown out. I didn’t tell them it would be a panoramic picture, so I shot almost the entire stadium in that one shot and got almost everything I needed.

BTW – if you scroll down to the comments area, find the Search box and enter “Hinchliffe”. That will bring up all my other posts from my visits there, including the one with that panoramic picture.


The normal way to visit the Falls involves parking in their lot, where you can see the Falls before you even get out of your car.

You go up to the railing and notice there’s a level below that puts you at bottom-of-the-falls level (though still a considerable distance away). You take the stairs down to that level.

You notice the footbridge over the Falls and would love to be on it, so you go back up the stairs and start to walk on the edge-of-the-property public sidewalk around the corner to another entrance that leads you directly to that footbridge, where you find that it’s been CLOSED for safety reasons the last 2 years and no one knows what will replace it or when.

Your option then is to go BACK to the public sidewalk and continue walking around the edge of the park.

You’ll eventually come to another park entrance (the Mary Ellen Kramer Park) where you can walk back towards the Falls, which are not too far from the walkway. A staircase will bring you even closer (this is where you start getting hit by the mist).

You go back up to the walkway and continue heading south toward the main falls. When you get there, you’re right by the other side of the closed footbridge. You then realize how much easier life would be (and how great your photos could have been) if they just fixed that damn footbridge.

While you’ve been busy walking south on that walkway and admiring the Falls to your right, you may not have noticed Hinchliffe Stadium to your left.

During a visit – when I first found out about it – my reaction was, “Well, I’m here……..and it’s historic……..and I have to walk back to the entrance anyway, so I might as well make a right when I get there and discover something pretty interesting.”


So you do that and you’re glad you did, but now you have to walk around the park again to get to your car. Well, the closed footbridge DID do you some good………you got some needed exercise……..albeit involuntarily.

And that’s what I – and probably a million other people – have done the last 2 years.


There used to be a certain flow to the visit that built up as you traversed the park:

“Wow! The distant Falls are beautiful!”

“Wow! The Falls view from the footbridge is remarkable!”

“Wow! There’s a cherry-on-the-top historic bonus in that right-next-door stadium!”


Normally, it’s a thrill-a-moment experience that you talk about and re-live on the walk back to your car, but that has become diminished with all the political foot-dragging regarding the new footbridge.

Wise up, powers-that-be! You’ll never get another opportunity to reveal a double attraction like these gems again! Instead, you’re tarnishing one and making the other less attractive/accessible.


Still with me?

Good, because I found a workaround that turned out spectacularly for me on ONE particular day: May 6. The opportunity it afforded me on that ONE day may not be available to me, you, or anybody else on any other day.

Here goes:

Instead of driving to the Falls parking lot, I drove around the park periphery (Wayne Ave to Maple St) to the area by that OTHER entrance at the Mary Ellen Kramer Park. But I wasn’t going to the Falls first as usual…………time to hit Hinchliffe.

If you drive just past the Kramer entrance, you’ll literally hit the Stadium. I’d advise taking a left before you do (if you turn right, you’ll hit the construction entrance – another no-no).

The day I was there, there were a couple of spaces on the no-stadium side of the street. I chucked a quick u-ey and grabbed one.


After a thousand words, it’s picture time.

I walked up the street to the front (NW) corner of Hinchliffe Stadium (to me, it’s the front corner, but that could very well be the corner up to the left by the new Senior Residences at Hinchliffe Stadium (I’m sure some Patersonian will correct me in the comments, if necessary…………..and I welcome it):

NOTE: This is a panoramic (PANO) picture. This post contains many such images, so click them once or twice to fully enlarge them. At that point, you may need to scroll a bit laterally to see everything. Hit your back button to return.


This is a closeup (small PANO) of the gate and ticket window that you see on the left in the previous pic:


Halfway up the block is this nice symmetrical building across the street from the stadium, whose walls occupy both ends of this PANO:


Moving up to the NE corner, here are two PANOs of what you see through the gates. The first one shows Garret Mountain to the south and the second one looks to the west:


Of course, when you do a 180º turn from that NE stadium corner, you see the new residential building and the parking garage behind the parked vehicles (PANO):



The sign is kind of hard to read in that last picture, so………….


I decided to walk toward the parking garage to see if there might be anything interesting to see from there…………I dunno – is this PANO interesting?

(maybe to the construction workers…….)


Then – just before I entered the parking garage, I saw what I’d hoped I would see:

Ten minutes ago, I’d have been happy to have taken this PANO shot, but panning this scene from this position with a chain link fence in the way not only made the field kind of lopsided, but all the center-section chain links are “broken”. I need something better.


But I took a quick detour when I saw an opening on the non-stadium side of the garage. What was there? A road and a small sign I couldn’t decipher from that distance (PANO):


So I zoomed in on the sign:

“Highest Park”, huh? It looks like one of Paterson’s highest residents added to the sign. And speaking of “higher”…………


That’s where I went (parking garage roof) and look what it got me! (PANO of the day!)

THE WHOLE STADIUM! Garret Mountain to the left! The Stadium Museum to the left of the across-field seating! The very beginnings of baseball infield markings (and foul lines)! And I’m guessing all that orange is the newly-laid track (the latest pictures I saw showed dirt where orange is now).

And now that I can see where home plate is, I’ve changed my mind and am now convinced that the NE corner is the front of the stadium – NOT the NW corner.


And what’s that I see on the other side of the field? Is that a track Zamboni smoothing things out? (is there such a thing?)


So what else is there to see from/on this roof?


SW corner (l-r): Stadium Museum, Stadium lights, covered stairs (it looked like a bus shelter from a distance):


A weird PANO shot from that SW corner:


I was curious to know if any part of the Falls was visible from the parking garage roof. I found ONE small visible area to the immediate left of the Museum:


Looking diagonally toward the NW corner of the Stadium, here is the backside of the very first stadium picture shown in this post:


Looking at the NE corner of the Stadium, I get a lovely view of the Port-O-Sans on Parking Garage Road from a different angle……………oh, yeah – and the surrounding buildings too (PANO):


PANO view of the entire parking garage roof:


After walking back down to the first floor, I took a PANO of the seemingly-unfinished elevator:


Just off the Senior Residences property, I found this (literally) hand-painted pole:


Back on the road where I parked my car, I walked down to the construction entrance. I wonder where that “Hinchliffe Stadium” sign will wind up (PANO):


Two views of the Stadium Museum from Mary Ellen Kramer Park (the first one’s a PANO):


That’s it! On to the Falls!


This PANO was the first falls picture I took upon entering Mary Ellen Kramer Park. I’m looking south toward Garret Mountain. The Passaic River flows under the Wayne Ave. Bridge (on the right), goes over what I call mini falls (which you’ll see better in the second pic) and then crashes downward with enough force to cause the stream of mist that you see (and that will soak me later on):


This is a tighter view that shows the closed-for-two-years-with-no-idea-when-it’ll-reopen pedestrian bridge. Fortunately, I have lots of shots from there in past years, but that doesn’t lessen my desire to get back on it and shoot lots more:


Continuing down the main path, this PANO shows the upcoming stairway down to a closer view:


These are 3 images taken from that closer viewing area. Actually, the first PANO was taken when I was only partially down the steps (first rainbow shot of the day). The third one is not a PANO:


Looking back up the steps, you can see how wet everything was from the mist:


Speaking of wet, my soaked hat posed for me in front of the falls and a rainbow:

Water was actually dripping off the brim at one point.


Here’s a short video of the scene:



And here’s a PANO of everything:


One last rainbow PANO on the way back to my car:



Now to finish up the visit where I usually start it, here are the obligatory wide and tight shots of the falls:


I hate to say it, but it feels pretty anticlimactic to be ending at the starting point. These are shots you can see every day on the Falls Cam:



If you come here, start at the main lot, see this view of the falls, then walk clockwise around the periphery (or drive if parking is available by the Stadium), see the Stadium and/or the falls from the Mary Ellen Kramer Park side and then double back via the way you came.

Then write to your congressperson to get hopping on replacing the footbridge and make life easier for everyone.


Almost forgot…………where’s the statue of Alexander Hamilton looking at the falls?

It was here 8 months ago.


Let’s finish up with a PANO that shows (l to r) the amphitheater, the power plant, the falls, the Passaic River moving on to the right after taking the plunge, the initial viewing area and a couple of cars in the parking lot:


And WHATEVER you do………..make sure you visit a day or two after a huge rain event and NOT during a drought (a picture of a leaking faucet comes to mind).





  1. E May 13, 2023

    Nice. Thanks Bob. I guess it’s time for a re-visit!

  2. John OToole May 14, 2023

    I’ve never been!

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