“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.
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.
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.
The significance of the New Jersey's inland watercraft and the roles they played in the state's history and development is lost to most people. From the earliest timber rafts on the Delaware River to the sophisticated canal technology and steam passenger transport, navigation has played an important part in inland culture.
The sustained productivity of the Sparta Mountain iron mines, which began in the late 1700s, attracted the attention of Thomas Edison, who built a massive experimental plant to process iron ore and a namesake village in 1889.
Warren County's Scott's Mountain, so named since at least 1885, is known locally as Montana Mountain, named for the small hamlet that sits on its scenic plateau. Nearby Merrill Creek Reservoir, with its vast open waters and network of wooded trails, is deserving of any excursion up the mountain. The trip back down into and through the Pohatcong Valley is equally rewarding for students of history and devotees of the outdoors, especially in autumn when you might even spot flying pumpkins.
The annual fall foliage bloom is dependent primarily on moisture and the first frost, but peak leaf viewing in Northwest New Jersey normally occurs somewhere around the first full week of October.
Romance ensued between Betsy Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, as the young, ambitious soldier courted the beautiful socialite in this historic Morristown home during the 1779-80 Revolutionary War encampment.
On the way North through Sussex County on Rt. 206, there's a tiny, old-time borough called Branchville. Just one-half square mile large, it is packed with history, old buildings, new business and interesting people, and where contemporary meets traditional. Surrounded by mountains and glacial lakes, farms, wineries, campgrounds, state parks and forests,
Here are artists who inspire their own inherent talents with other gifts from nature: a modern-day fossil maker, a wood carver with a global view, a painter of nature and emotion, and a horticultural sculptor of living art.
Through warm summer months and into fall, you can explore rivers, streams, fields, and hills and enjoy remote views and vistas-all from the saddle. Across the Skylands region, a horse can take you where no car can?faster and sometimes farther afield than your own two feet. Exercise? Certainly. But also the pleasure of working with a 1,000-pound companion who can handle the footwork.
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.