“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.
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.
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.
For over 12,000 years the Lenape and their ancestors occupied northwestern New Jersey. Who were they? How did they live? What kinds of tools did they make and use? Archaeologists have been trying to answer these questions for over a century.
An interesting book about farms in White Township, reminds us of the farmer's ingenuity, and of the values represented by the Warren County's agricultural heritage.
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.