Since the pandemic and coupled with rising gas prices, more people are looking for day trips or shorter stay-cations rather than going to attractions or vacation spots that are in distant locations.

Great Falls Cleanup
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You’ve heard me on my show and read my posts here on this site to promote the many great places to visit right here in Jersey. While we can boast of many attractions here in New Jersey that make a trip worthwhile, none may be as majestic as the falls in Paterson

I was recently asked to film a project that takes me to the great falls in Paterson, New Jersey. I have lived in New Jersey for 30 years. I have been to almost every corner of New Jersey, however I have never made it to the great falls until now. Shame on me. It's a magnificent sight.

The falls are one of the largest waterfalls in the country. The impact they had on the early industrial development, here in New Jersey, is very significant.

Great Falls in Paterson
iGreat Falls in Paterson )ShootPhotos, LLC, Getty Images)
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The falls geologically were formed at the end of the last ice age nearly 13,000 years ago. The path of the flow of water that made its way through Watchung, New Jersey started carving the actual falls 200 million years ago. I remember it well.

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The great falls became a national park and is now administered by the national park service. I believe this is great because they are very strict in allowing any changes or disturbance of the natural beauty the falls provide. Congress authorized this in 2009.

I was happy to hear that the falls and surrounding park are open everyday from nine to five. Take the time to take your family up there for a nice day out.

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
Photo courtesy of Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
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Enjoy serenity and magnificent views of a New Jersey natural wonder. Click the link here to visit their website and get all of the info you need to plan a trip up to these beautiful falls.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

NJ county fairs make a comeback: Check out the schedule for 2022

UPDATED 4/10: A current list of county fairs happening across the Garden State for 2022. From rides, food, animals, and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographical order from South NJ to North NJ)