The Personality of Northwest New Jersey Skylands

“Skylands” is simply a perspective; a way of looking at and appreciating Northwestern New Jersey. “Thinking Skylands” endeavors to meld those characteristics shared by the constituent counties, towns, ridges, valleys, country roads and sections of interstate into a comprehensive portrait; one more attentive to geographic, cultural, and historical attributes than county and municipal borders. Explore the remarkable personality of this place!

Officially, the Skylands Region refers to Northwest New Jersey and includes the counties of Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, and Sussex. Destinations just beyond those borders, in neighboring counties and states (Pennsylvania and New York), are equally intriguing and convenient, so don't be confused if you come across some of those here.

This Winter, Think Skylands!

Make it a point to get out and enjoy the pleasures of the season. We’ve collected lots of ideas for you and your family. Some may be obvious, some might surprise you. We hope we’re helpful when you’re planning an afternoon, a weekend, or perhaps a permanent relocation to New Jersey.

Back Home on the Range

It's not an everyday occurrence to meet people who live their lives with empathy and respect for all living creatures. It is good fortune and heart-warming to meet them, and the experience can instill hope and the desire to reach out to those less fortunate, human or critter.

Ice Fishing

The first fishable ice (three inches or more) usually forms by sometime in mid to late December. Then you can head out onto the fishable coves on such impoundments as Lake Hopatcong, Lake Wawayanda, Swartswood Lake, Paulinskill Lake, Cranberry Lake, Lake Musconetcong, Budd Lake, Mountain Lake, or any other frozen body of water in where you can gain public access.

Winter Bird Watching

Hastened by the first blanketings of snow, the shortened days of winter in the Skylands afford a chilly but unequaled opportunity to draw closer to nature and to enjoy the quiet that descends with the withdrawal of activity to the indoors. On these cold days, while local countryside vistas remain open and unshrouded by their canopy of leaves, the fields, forests, and woodlands of our region are prime for the pastime of winter birdwatching.

Back Country Skiing

The purest form of back country skiing marries the skills of cross country and downhill telemark skiing (done at ski areas) in a joyous union that allows the skier to ski anywhere there is snow. For eastern back country skiers the consummation of this marriage is climbing hills to ski down through forested slopes untracked by other humans.

Baking Bread

You've heard that bread is the staff of life. That saying harkens from an earlier time, when the average American ate up to entire loaf of bread per day! How can something so right and needed become such a controversial food, and how can we know which breads are OK for us to enjoy now? Here's how!

Snowshoeing

Not only does snowshoeing provide a cardio packed punch of a workout, it is also a lot of fun! Snowshoeing is easy to learn, inexpensive compared to other winter sports, and poses little risk of injury. Try a tundra trek this winter!

Historic Barns

One thing that most people are not aware of, not even native New Jerseyans, is that the west central part of the state has the greatest diversity of barn types perhaps in the entire North American continent. A mixture of German, Holland Dutch and English customs, and a pronounced blending of Old World craft traditions, produced a multitude of various barn constructions. More than 150 years ago, they went truly ballistic with all kinds of barn building expressions.

Why Did The Turtle Cross The Road?

Like all of our terrestrial wildlife, turtles require space to roam to do all the things creatures need to do - eat, breed, escape, shelter - and the fragmented patches of natural lands we have left are often too small in size to support those needs.

Winter Hikes

The Winter season has its own wonders that merit braving the cold. In fact there are intrepid hikers that don't take to the trails until the branches are bare, in search of vistas from ice formations to sun glistening on a freshly fallen snow.

The region contains two national parks at its edges, 60,000 acres of state parkland, and a diverse and beautiful geography filled with lakes, rivers and picturesque hills dotted with farms.

The region's rustic nature is perfectly complemented by many vigorous towns and villages that offer wonderful entertainment, shopping and dining opportunities, fine museums, theaters and accommodations.

And there is a year round schedule of festivals, arts & crafts fairs, performance, exhibits, and educational events in New Jersey's Great Northwest.

Most of the material you'll find here has been published in our seasonal guide to the region: the Skylands Visitor Magazine. If you'd like a free copy, move over here.

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