“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.
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.
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.
One autumn day you are likely to find yourself headed to New Jersey's northernmost corner in search of fall adventure. You may be guided by way of either of two well-known parks that converge at the top of the state in the township of Montague, and although few visitors care what zip code they' re in, some exploration beyond the park borders can be quickly rewarded.
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.
While July may be a month for tall glasses of lemonade and August a time for corn on the cob with melted butter dripping down the sides, September is a month of transition. Summer may be over, but fall has yet to truly begin. Although humidity still clings to the leaves and gnats continue to plague the gardener, schools are once again open. In most states, the end of the month brings with it the official close of the fishing season.
They called it "prairie coal". The abundant fuel that kept American midwestern farming families warm through the winters of the late nineteenth century was the tallgrass that grew wild all around them across the plains, twisted into bundles and burned in rudimentary household stoves. Sometimes it was the digested dried dung of grass-eating buffalo or cattle, or straw harvested from the farmer's field, all steady reliable sources of heat-yielding, combustible, carbon-rich biofuel.
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.
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.
There is no formal definition for a 'farm-to-table" menu, but diners usually expect that so-described selections are prepared with locally sourced ingredients supplied directly by farmers who have raised their crops or livestock without the use of pesticides or hormones. Is this just another exclusive food fad, or can it be part of a social movement towards a sustainable local economy in Northwest New Jersey?
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.