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 Spring, 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.

Comfort Food

Seven out of six hundred New Jersey diners sit in Warren County. Last year there were eight, until the Crossroads Diner was wrapped up and loaded on a flatbed for transport to upstate New York, having been sold at auction on eBay to a buyer who promised new life for the pressed metal panel frame, wide glass windows, customer booths and counter stools, pie case, and iconic exterior neon lighting. In their heyday, 6,000 diners hosted travelers across America. Only about one-third of them remain, but New Jersey remains the most diner-dense, and people-dense, state.

If You Plant It, Will They Come?

Insects are critical components of any natural area. Gardeners have become increasingly aware that, if we want wildlife in our gardens, we must support all life stages, year 'round. With the fragmented state of our natural areas, wildlife relies on our gardens, yards, fields, hedgerows, and woodlots to survive. When using native plants in a landscape, we are attempting to recreate functioning ecosystems to support the wonderful wildlife that, in fact, needs us to survive.

Spring In Your Step

A mix of historic buildings of varying architectural styles, a walkable downtown, and plentiful eateries surrounded by rural tranquility make Newton a fusion of the then and the now, with great expectations for the to be.

A General Birding Guide

The pursuit of birds in view appeals to lots of people for lots of reasons. Beyond the activity's obvious natural allure, "chasing" birds keeps watchers physically fit. Learning and identifying hundreds of species on the fly challenges the intellect and intensifies awareness. And for photographers and illustrators, there is no better subject. The concentration of ridges, valleys and wetlands in our area holds a fortune of interaction with the avian experience any time of year, but especially in spring.

Grass to the Glass

Many states have adopted regulations to allow consumer access to carefully produced fresh, unprocessed whole milk. New Jersey is the only state with a complete prohibition against distribution of "raw" milk according to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

People who tend the land have observed physical weather-related changes that affect their occupations. Some had to rethink their direction while others continue on, hoping for the best, but onward thinkers all. Here are a few of their experiences.

A Straw Bale Home

The straw bale house at Genesis Farm in Frelinghuysen demonstrates the use of locally available, time-tested renewable materials to construct an energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing home. This prototype was fully permitted and approved for residential use in 2001, connected to a solar array for its electricity needs, a solar-space heating system, a composting toilet and a grey water system.

Consider: From the vantage of the stars

The word "consider" has its origin in the early French word for star-like: "sidereal". We might suggest that "consider" now has an expanded meaning, suggesting that by referencing contemporary theories of stars, their origin, nature and function over the thirteen-billion-year history of the universe, we are given profoundly new and powerful insights.

Core Values

Many, many stories adorn the history of the Highlands. But what about the future? What are the significant challenges ahead for our cherished home? That question has an easy answer: climate change.

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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