Autumn, 2019

Warm greetings and best wishes for an exciting season! This is our twenty-ninth year of exploration among the hills and valleys of Northwest New Jersey. We hope you keep the personality of the New Jersey Skylands near and dear when you need to freshen your horizon!

Here are some highlights from the region's calendar of events, along with some other suggestions for you and your family.

November 7 - 14

November Song

Photo by Trish Romano
Some days unfold slowly, but listen carefully to catch their rhythm, and you may enjoy the tune. Don't stop now; bundle up and enjoy! There is still plenty of scenic excitement, and much more listed on our calendar. Can you believe it? Three weeks until Thanksgiving!

Honor Bound

Warren County Wounded Veterans Memorial
There are somewhere around 1,200 historical markers in New Jersey, 500 of them in the Northwest Skylands region. Many are monuments to war veterans from all eras and in all sizes.
In Flemington there is a marker that you can't see from the road in memory of in memory of "Vietnam War Dogs and Their Handlers." The Lambertville 8-12 Baseball League erected a memorial to PFC Charles L. Danberry who gave his life serving in the Marine Corp in Vietnam.
The Branchburg Veterans Memorial covers six wars at once: the American Revolution, Civil War, Word Wars I and II, the Korean War and Vietnam, all with art depicting each conflict, surround a small court and a central monument honoring the men and women of Branchburg who proudly served.
And a statue commemorating World War II hero John Basilone, sculpted by a boyhood friend and installed in 1948, stands larger than life -- like the man -- on a little triangular intersection on Somerset Street in the Borough of Raritan. Monuments like these decorate Northwest New Jersey in prominent and tucked away places. They are statues and plaques, fine-crafted or natural rock, some are pedestaled and others are so discreet as to appear part of the natural landscape. They all commemorate a part of our history, and often remind us of courageous men and women who have served our country. Remember them this Monday on Veterans Day. More...

The Tripod Rock Caper

Tripod Rock at Pyramid Mountain
Tripod Rock -- begetter of mystery, artifact of glacial motion or signpost of Indigenous People? Two such monuments decorate the Northwest Jersey landscape ­ one on a Morris County mountaintop, the other protected by rock outcrop on the side of Kittatinny Mountain in High Point State Park. The rocks are not to be missed ­ phenomena for all to enjoy.

The Tewksbury Register

Mountainville ahead!
Hunterdon County is home to over forty historic districts on the National Register. Some of those, in Tewksbury Township, are located in some of the most beautiful and serene countryside in New Jersey. With a little historic perspective, your trip through these antique villages will become an excursion of discovery. An afternoon driving or biking along this route is time well-spent; one that you'll likely tell your friends about. Luscious color remains!

Skylands Prime!

Lamington Lifestyles (formerly Lamington General Store)is located in a restored 1890s general store.
Enjoy refreshments and good cheer at this weekend's (Nov. 9-10) Holiday Open House at Lamington Lifestyles, the perfect opportunity to combine an autumn excursion with some serious groundwork on your holiday gift list. A Bedminster destination for 33 years, the shop offers two floors brimming with home decor, unique gifts, women's apparel, baby gifts, jewelry and artwork, and custom furniture. (The store specialty is custom farm tables.) 285 Lamington Rd., Bedminster (just outside of Oldwick Village), 908/439-2034. Is there a better place to spice up a late autumn afternoon?

Consider

The straw bale house at Genesis Farm.
The word “consider” has its origin in the early French word for star-like: “sidereal”. Its use suggested that important thoughts, judgments and decisions ought to take into account the perspectives of the stars. We might suggest that “Consider” now has an expanded meaning, the promise that with some corrections in our perceptions we might also be inspired to change our behaviors.

Natural building considers a structure’s impact on the local environment and culture, the global ecology, the needs and well-being of the inhabitants, and the quality of the building itself. Straw bale homes can make a significant contribution toward relieving the many challenges we face due to the effects of climate disruption, the increased scarcity of safe fossil fuels for our energy future, and the increased demands on the planet’s forests for construction materials for our human buildings. 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. Have a look!

Ready or Not!

    


Going, Going...

Fading at Blue Mountain Lake
Gone? This weekend they turn the clocks back and shorten the days up real quick. Daylight Craving Time! There won’t be too many more weekends to get out and feel a warm breeze while enjoying the mellow tones of autumn landscapes. But, there is still plenty of scenic excitement, and much more listed on our calendar.

Flight Patterns

A visit to the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Kempton, PA, during the fall raptor migration of 1964, inspired Len and Diane Soucy's special interest in birds of prey, and led to their life's work at The Raptor Trust in Millington. Although watching birds of prey doesn't have to define your life, you may find yourself with a bit of raptor fever after a taste of the annual fall migration. A raptor is a bird of prey—a general descriptor that includes eagles, hawks, falcons, and vultures. Some species, like the northern goshawk, golden eagle, and red-tailed hawk actually increase in numbers in November, but each species has its own window of time. You can start with this primer for watching these magnificent and magical birds. Or spend an afternoon at The Raptor Trust. Then head for Merrill Creek Reservoir, Raccoon Ridge, Wildcat Ridge or several other prime spots in the region.

Find Your Furnace

The area now called Hewitt was once the Long Pond Ironworks, where men took iron ore from the Ramapo hills, burned and extracted it into pig iron and forged it into wrought. Farms and schools and whole support systems sprung up around the ironworks village to maintain this rugged venture. Standing at the crossroads of this ghost town, you can sense the men and women who helped set the wheels of America in motion at the dawn of the nation's birth and the Industrial Revolution. Stop and feel the energy. The Ironworks is a beautiful place to visit, a serene one- hundred-year-old forest now replenished, breathing the enterprise of our past.

Rock Legends

Bevans Rock House is a large rockshelter formed by a huge overhanging rock slab and was probably used by Indians for many years.
New Jersey’s Skylands offer beauty, awe, history, and mystery to any weekend traveler discovering the region’s mountains, lakes, fields, forests—and rocks!! Nearly everywhere you look there are rocks; big ones, little ones, sometimes fields of them resembling a Golem’s garden. But amidst this lithic profusion curious explorers cannot help but wonder why certain rocks and boulders have drawn enough attention in days gone by to have been given names of their own. Where are these special boulders anyhow, and what are their stories? More...

Bringing it all back home

Smadar English, Judy von Handorf, Hannah Hobbs, McKenna Oettinger, Sister Miriam MacGillis, and Linda Keirnan at Genesis Farm in Blairstown
Women make up twenty-two percent of New Jersey's 15,936-plus farmers, and their rate is steadily increasing (USDA Census). They come with ideals and energy to make the world a better place. They earn a living being outdoors doing what they love, and they come to educate. They all come with grit, knowledge and spirit. Meet a couple...

Consider

Loaves and baguettes at the Bobolink Bakehouse include (counterclockwise from right): Garlic duckfat ciabatta, local baguettes, cranberry walnut breadstick, rosemary epi, heirloom Fife, medieval baguette, Flax Armadillo loaf, rustic olloaf, Petit levain, cranberry walnut loaf.
The word “consider” has its origin in the early French word for star-like: “sidereal”. Its use suggested that important thoughts, judgments and decisions ought to take into account the perspectives of the stars. We might suggest that “Consider” now has an expanded meaning, the promise that with some corrections in our perceptions we might also be inspired to change our behaviors.

Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse, where they produce grass-fed beef and make artisanal cheeses is also the place where Nina Stein White and her staff have produced millions of healthy and delicious breads! There is now a proliferation of literature telling us to avoid wheat altogether, but the great news is that the nutritious and varying flours can be baked into nutritious and varying breads, season by season, loaf by loaf. It just requires that food makers relinquish their expectation that flour be exactly the same from harvest to harvest. See how its done here, and look forward to an informative trip to 369 Stamets Rd, Milford (Hunterdon County), 908/86GRASS.

Foliated Again!

The peak fall foliage bloom is moving steadily through the Delaware Water Gap.
Next week it's time to turn the clocks back, and the days shorten up real quick. For sure, there's not much time left to get out and feel a warm breeze while enjoying the amber and gold colors of autumn leaves. But, there is still plenty of scenic excitement, and much more listed on our calendar.

Follow the narrow, twisting back roads along both shores of the Delaware River -- from Phillipsburg south to Milford in New Jersey, and Upper Black Eddy back north to Easton in Pennsylvania -- through countryside rich in local history and lore, old hamlets of which little trace remains, past quaint homes and natural wonders along the way.
And back up stream. The historic and scenic river towns of Easton, Portland, Columbia, Belvidere and Phillipsburg all merit in-depth exploration of their own, but this forty-eight-mile loop tour emphasizes the old roads connecting them.
Or further upstream!
Follow the Old Mine Road along the river through the National Recreation Area. Delaware River, along the northwestern edges of Warren and Sussex Counties.

Through the Farny Highlands

Split Rock from a kayak is a beautiful sight in autumn. Photo by Lee Sandstead.
A trio of Morris County reservoirs, each less than ten miles from the next, dot opposing sides of a triangle that frames sharply contrasting environments. Split Rock sits in one of Morris County’s most remote regions; Taylortown in Montville’s preserved mountains and woodlands, steps away from suburbia and Boonton near the busy intersection of Routes 287 and 80. An autumn visit to each or all promises ample leaf peeping vistas, woodland or urban hikes with water views and flashes of Revolutionary and Civil War history. Put this trip on your list this fall!

Rock and Roll Highway

This view from the lookout above Route 80 (eastbound, mile 20), eighteen miles west to the forested wall of Kittatinny Mountain could be compared to the Shenandoah Valley. It actually is part of the same valley that runs from Canada to Alabama -- the Great Valley of the Appalachians.
Photo by Robert Thompson.
Interstate Route 80, aka the Christopher Columbus Highway, can be a scenic tour through an ancient glacial lake, across a glacial moraine, over the New Jersey Highlands into the vast Valley and Ridge province. Enjoy your next ride with a new perspective! Drive on...

Southern Exposure

Part of the former the Kuser Estate on top of Bald Pate Mountain.
Just a few miles south of Lambertville lies an area ripe for weekend adventure and exploration. At Bald Pate Mountain, components of local, national, and natural history are well represented, as well as brilliant prospects for craft seekers, hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and picnickers. To get there, head south from Lambertville on Route 29, enjoying glimpses of the Delaware & Raritan Canal feeder and the Delaware River along the way.

Consider

This eroding field at Wattles Stewardship Center in Asbury was taken out of farm production to protect a nearby Musconetcong River tributary and planted with the warm-season grasses. There is Indiangrass, switchgrass, little bluestem and big bluestem (with the turkeyfoot top). Among the field’s inhabitants are field sparrow, Savannah sparrow, and pollinators like cabbage white butterflies and native bees.
The word “consider” has its origin in the early French word for star-like: “sidereal”. Its use suggested that important thoughts, judgments and decisions ought to take into account the perspectives of the stars. We might suggest that “Consider” now has an expanded meaning, the promise that with some corrections in our perceptions we might also be inspired to change our behaviors.

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. Warm season grasses can still be a steady reliable source of heat-yielding, combustible, carbon-rich biofuel — and 90% emission free!

Foliage Done Right!


Glory Days!

Crater Lake atop the Kittatinny Ridge.
Indian Summer is sweet and short. Chilly days and barren limbs are not far ahead, so get out your camera and hit the road, lined with good things to do and colorful panoramas for leaf peepers. Check our calendar for local tricks and treats.

Denville Detour

Even today, if you needed a natural hideout—a really good one—Jonathan’s Woods could work. This six hundred plus acre pocket of undeveloped property, speckled with high and low ferns and Indian paintbrush, crossed by slender streams and marked by sharply rising rocky outcroppings, lies not far from one of Morris County’s busiest highways: Interstate Route 80. And yet the tract offers unexpected isolation. You could, as they say, get lost here!

Trickle Down

Spruce Run Creek is a sparkling ribbon of natural beauty whose course through rich agricultural land interspersed with hardwood and evergreen forests still embodies the area's early history and provides sanctuary for many species of wildlife. The spring rises along the ridge of Schooley's Mountain, ten miles northeast of the reservoir near the boundary of Washington Township, in Morris County, and Lebanon Township, in Hunterdon County.

Big Skylands Country

Merrill Creek Reservoir
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.

Super Intentions

Walpack Village
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is one of only eight national park “units” that together contain 60% of all National Park infrastructure—like roads, bridges, buildings, and dams. The others on the list—places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Golden Gate— have budgets three times larger. DEWA's enabling legislation from a half century ago is based on its classification as a recreation area that would surround a reservoir (which was never created). It does not address the type of park in existence today, one that covers nearly seventy thousand acres and includes more than seven hundred structures, more than two hundred miles of roads, one hundred miles of trails, one hundred impoundments, and a multitude of utility rights-of-way and other easements. And most important, one that receives up to five million visitors every year! The National Park Service has released a draft Visitor Use Managment Plan that provides comprehensive analysis and proposes revised zoning and visitor fee structures. You can comment online until December 6, or during scheduled public meetings :
  • Thursday, October 24, 6 - 8 pm. Bushkill Volunteer Fire Company Hall, 124 Evergreen Drive, Bushkill, PA 18324
  • Saturday, October 26, 1-3 pm. Sussex County Technical School Auditorium, 105 North Church Road, Sparta, NJ 07871
For more information on this project, click or call park headquarters at 570-426-2472.

Consider

With reforms in food policy we can reverse current trends that endanger the viability of small local dairy farming.
The word “consider” has its origin in the early French word for star-like: “sidereal”. Its use suggested that important thoughts, judgments and decisions ought to take into account the perspectives of the stars. We might suggest that “Consider” now has an expanded meaning, the promise that with some corrections in our perceptions we might also be inspired to change our behaviors.

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. Here's why choices matter...

Healing Journeys

Hunter's moon due on Sunday evening!
While that big old October moon whispers its pumpkin tune, many will choose to celebrate and honor Indigenous Peoples this weekend. Locally, one of the more shameful events in the colonists interaction with the native Lenape was the Walking Purchase. How do we reconcile disgraceful episodes in history? On September 21st, a group of people began the process by following the route of the Walking Purchase of 1737.

Time Travel

Docents immerse youngsters in history at the Abraham Staats House in South Bound Brook.
This weekend (Oct. 12-13), thirty historic sites in Somerset County open their doors to the public; many with special exhibits and programs planned for the annual Weekend Journey Through The Past. Visitors will enjoy tours led by costumed interpreters and actors portraying historical figures, special collections and exhibitions, and a seemingly unending variety of activities for public involvement and enjoyment. Ask for free trading cards when visiting the participating sites. Each card features a notable person, place, event, or theme taken from four centuries of Somerset County history. Collect, trade… and play! Check the event website, or download the guide book, for site descriptions, special programs, and tour maps for this FREE event.

The Hunt For Orange October!

Van Campen Inn on Old Mine Road in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
A casual stop at the Isaac Van Campen House (or Van Campen Inn) blossoms effortlessly into a full day of exploration and discovery. The Inn is among the most prominent "official” destinations along the Old Mine Road, but it is not at all apparent how many features actually wait here for discovery. You can find out this Sunday (Oct. 13) during Van Campen Day when costumed re-enactors and the demonstration of Colonial crafts such as spinning, woodworking, blacksmithing, chair caning, lace making and cider pressing will revive those old days. You'll also be able to tour a former fort and cemetery, as well as the Van Campen Inn itself. A special day in a special place!

Foliage done right!

The Delaware River, Sunfish Pond and Yards Creek Reservoir are familiar landmarks from a Jersey Ridge Soaring glider over the Kittatinny Ridge, brilliant with fall foliage.
Express your inner Wright on a breathtaking ride with a FAA certified pilot above the Kittatinny Mountains and Delaware Water Gap in a single passenger glider from Blairstown Airport. Or take someone else along in a two-passenger glider. Jersey Ridge Soaring offers glider rides, glider instruction, and gift certificates. Click or call 908-362-1239.

Consider

A grand view of the New Jersey Highlands from Wawayanda State Park
The word “consider” has its origin in the early French word for star-like: “sidereal”. Its use suggested that important thoughts, judgments and decisions ought to take into account the perspectives of the stars. We might suggest that “Consider” now has an expanded meaning, the promise that with some corrections in our perceptions we might also be inspired to change our behaviors.
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.

Living in Color!

Stokes State Forest is a sure bet for brilliant colors.
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 middle of October. So, do yourself a favor and leave it all behind for a couple of hours on the road, lined with good things to do and colorful panoramas for leaf peepers.
Generally, the color works its way down, north to south, so head to Sussex County and the higher elevations near the Delaware Water Gap. You won't want to miss some of the prettiest vistas on the East Coast throughout this wild and scenic countryside.
And, on the north side of Branchville is a 15,482-acre playground known as Stokes State Forest. It's mountains of gorgeous woods and clean water, and it's mountains of fall fun.
There is much to do listed on our calendar for this and coming autumn weekends.

Consider

Stars shine on White Lake. Photo by Jacob Bryant.
The word “consider” has its origin in the early French word for star-like: “sidereal”. Its use suggested that important thoughts, judgments and decisions ought to take into account the perspectives of the stars. We might suggest that “Consider” now has an expanded meaning, the promise that with some corrections in our perceptions we might also be inspired to change our behaviors.
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...

OctoberFest!

Photo: Erin Burnett
Events all month long in Northwest New Jersey’s Skylands add up to one giant celebration of autumn. Arts, harvests, history – pretty much everything that needs expressing is expressed this month, beginning in a big way this weekend with a couple Octoberfests in September! You'll find more about these events and much more on our calendar for this and coming weekends.


Preservation Day

The Vass House and barn at White Lake
White Lake reveals all the layers that make a place really interesting. The swans that grace the water's sparkling surface, the feisty fish beneath, and the surrounding fields and forest are immediately captivating to the casual observer. It is also the site of a historic homestead that dates to 1764, which was preserved with the support of Warren County’s Department of Land Preservation and the Municipal and Charitable Conservancy Trust Fund Committee. White Lake is a great place to be anytime! For your GPS, White Lake is located at 97 Stillwater Road (Rt. 521), Blairstown, 07825 .

Park Place

One day this fall you are likely to find yourself headed to New Jersey’s northernmost corner in search of autumn adventure. You may be guided by way of either of two well-known parks; both the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and High Point State Park are automatic answers for where to go for memorable vistas, scenic hikes through brisk autumn air, or drives shrouded in seasonal color and rural mystique. The parks 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.

Pequest Pilgrims

Bucolic pasture along Long Bridge Road.
Immerse yourself in autumn beauty, the region's heritage, and a spectrum of natural features along this forty-mile loop that parallels the Pequest River through its upper reaches. Some of the things to look for: Swamp islands, black dirt, a Quaker burial ground, Logg Gaol, the Lackawanna Cutoff, Muckshaw Ponds, Moody's Rock, Yellow Frame, Dark Moon Cemetery, an octagonal house, Devil's Kitchen cave, the White Pilgrim, Jenny Jump, Ghost Lake, and Shades of Death. You'll need a designated driver to see all this stuff!

Wings and a prayer

MacKenzie Hall releases a young male Big Brown Bat on his maiden flight.
Photo by Bob Thompson.
Bats are a fascinating group of animals. They've been flapping through the skies for more than fifty million years and are still the only mammals on Earth that can truly fly. But they are largely misunderstood, and have had very hard times of late. In a big way, the White-nose plague swung the door wide open to understanding and appreciating bats. Even grade school kids now know that bats are important insect-eaters. And bats save crops from corn earworm moths, potato beetles, cucumber beetles, even stink bugs, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. Those are rather good reasons to want bats around. Read more!

Explore the Wonders!

Keep Warren County front and center on your radar for exploration this fall. Have a glass of fresh apple cider, or sample the work of a local winery. Drive down a country road and drink in the scenery, or take a hike to enjoy the fall foliage. Shop for antiques or country crafts. For a complete list of pick-your-own farms and other fall fun, click or call 1-800-554-8540.

eQuality!

"Where Beavers Used To Be", a painting by Ry An, is among the art on display at the Morris Museum's Sixth Annual Highlands Juried Art and Photography Exhibit.
As the sun heads south across the equator, Northwest New Jersey will prove itself a popular stage for arts, crafts, natural and historical celebrations all season, as autumn arrives on Monday evening (Sept. 23, 9:54pm) with a schedule of colorful programs. Soft and mellow autumn days can be intoxicating. For now, at the equinox, night and day are equal partners, but the balance begins to tip! So make sure to keep an eye on our calendar for this and coming autumn weekends. And pick from a multitude of daytrip itineraries!

Trails, Tracks, and Taverns

The old mill complex in Little York.
Old roads and new trails in and around Hunterdon County’s Jugtown Mountain offer scenic options for fall explorers as they wander through historic districts, old hamlets, wooded roads, environmental preserves and county parks. The more you look, the more you see! Here are the details...

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. For some, the rescue of horses is a passion.

Rooms With A View!

Camping doesn't have to end with the summer. In fact campgrounds make a perfect home base for most outdoor fall activities such as leaf peeping, bird and wildlife watching, hunting and fishing, simply because they've got "location, location, location."
  • Camp Taylor Campground
    Camp Taylor offers a wilderness atmosphere with the security and services that public areas often lack, with access to a swimming lake and trails that lead hikers through strikingly beautiful forest to mountain laurel atop a 1600 foot ridge. Seasonal Sites, Tenters, RV rental, Cabins near the Delaware Water Gap. Home of Lakota Wolf Preserve. 85 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Columbia, 908/496-4333
  • Harmony Ridge Campground
    Outstanding family facilities near Culver Lake and Stokes Forest. There are over 200 sites and many activities to choose from; a large pavilion, playground, game courts, swimming pool, paddle boats. The friends and memories you make here will last a lifetime. 23 Risdon Drive, Branchville, 973/948-4941
  • Kymer's Camping Resort
    Trailer and cabin rentals and trailer and tent campsites with water, electric and cable TV hookups on 200 scenic acres. 69 Kymer Rd., Branchville, 800/526-2267
  • Delaware River Family Campground
    Enjoy raft, canoe, kayak or tube trips, trailer and tent campsites as well as trailer and cabin rentals. 100 Route 46, Columbia, 800/543-0271
  • Panther Lake Camping Resort
    Camp on a private 45-acre lake on 160 scenic acres where you can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing or just relaxing on a sandy beach. 6 Panther Lake Rd., Andover, 800/543-2056
  • The Great Divide Campground
    Private, family friendly campground with amenities for tents, RVs and seasonal guests. Fully furnished cabin rentals available. Heated pool, fishing & boating lake, playground, planned events and activities. 68 Phillips Road, Newton, 973/383-4026

Color Me Going!

   
   


Don't Miss A Thing!

Ripe and Ready! In this heat those apples are liable to bake right on the tree, so go get them!
No doubt, fall is the most precious season. It looks good, especially with Northwest New Jersey's usual spectacular crop of fall foliage. And it tastes even better, thanks to the efforts all kinds of farmers.
Don't miss a thing this fall. It comes and goes so fast, so keep an eye on our calendar and watch out for our virtual efforts to keep you informed.

Skylands Prime!

Among the growing list of appealing eateries along Main Street in Hackettstown, Soups On Main has established a faithful, and quickly expanding, patronage. Their unique brand of organic-style, healthy fast-food includes dozens of delicious, hardy soups, salads, wraps (and more) made fresh every day with ingredients that are locally grown, raised, pastured, and free of any pesticides, hormones, chemicals, or inhumane treatment. You can dine in the cozy shop, carry out or order for delivery. Call 908/736-6004 or pre-order from the daily menu posted online. Visit Don and Donna Sherman at 199 Main Street during Sunday's Hackettstown Street Fair or at the annual Autumn Lamplight Dinner on Monday, Sept. 17. Farm to Ladle, Pot to Table!

Primetime!

In Northwest New Jersey, there's so much going on in September, we need to add a few more days to the end of each week. Otherwise you'll have to make some choices! Keep an eye on our calendar and watch out for our virtual efforts to keep you informed.

Field Guide

The Wattles Stewardship Center in Port Murray, is New Jersey Audubon's model for blending environmental awareness, wildlife habitat, and agriculture. The trails, woods and fields are also delightful places to walk!

Power of the Pyramid

Its particular geography makes Pyramid Mountain, in Boonton Township, home to an especially wide range of wildlife. The rugged terrain harbors an estimated four-hundred types of native plants and is crisscrossed by thirty types of mammals and one-hundred varieties of birds and myriad butterflies. Take a walk on the Pyramid!

Hikes, Bikes, and Tykes

Deer Park Pond sits atop Allamuchy Mountain.
Together, Allamuchy Mountain and Stephens State Parks include 9,600 acres in Morris, Sussex and Warren counties. Allamuchy Mountain State Park lies mainly on the uplands, rising to over 1,100 feet, while Stephens lies in the valley below, along the Musconetcong River. Despite being bisected by Interstate Route 80, there is plenty of space to find your own special spot in this picturesque and diverse landscape. Or immerse yourself in any of the fascinating historical aspects of the park that range from pre-historic to the industrial eras. More than 36 miles of old roads and trails connect these sites, weaving a tapestry of natural features that beckon any lover of the outdoors. More...

Skylands Prime!

The Brook Hollow Winery, in Knowlton Township, looks out over the vineyard, then beyond to the Delaware Water Gap.
Enjoy hand-crafted wines fermented, aged, and bottled at the Brook Hollow Winery Ritter family farm in the heart of the scenic Delaware Water Gap. In addition to wine tasting and sales, a schedule packed full of events and entertainment makes a visit to Brook Hollow essential to a complete autumn agenda! Brook Hollow is located at 594 State Highway 94 in Columbia.


Learning Hibernia

A forgotten cemetery high above today’s Hibernia.
Tucked between Rockaway Township's town of Hibernia and Split Rock Reservoir lies one of New Jersey's many multi-use Wildlife Management Areas. These tracts of land have been set aside for a variety of public uses including hiking, nature study, photography, exploration, fishing and hunting. Some also offer great opportunity to delve into some of the more obscure aspects of the area's history. Lovers of nature, history, and geology will all find something, laced with a bit of intrigue at Wildcat Ridge.

Wildlife Tracking

When you go for a walk, seek the not-so-obvious. Examining scat and peering through "runs" in the bush, listening to the warning calls of birds, or locating the area where deer slept the night before are the kinds of things that make a hike worthwhile. You need no destination or deadline, just wander. Look closely and you'll feel like you have lived an entire day in a single hour. More...

Big Ponds, Big Fish

Walleye pike
Pound for pound, the hybrid striped bass rates right up there with the best of the fresh water fish when it comes to putting up a good fight once hooked. Pound for pound, the walleye is hard to beat for table fare, with some fishermen calling it the best tasting fish of them all. Fortunately for those anglers in this part of the state who like some muscle on the end of their line and tasty fillets on the table, there are plenty of both fish around due to vigorous and well-planned stocking programs. These fish are there ... but you're going to have to work for them.

Skylands Prime!

The Rosemary Inn on 17 pastoral acres near the Delaware Water Gap.

For a late-summer or autumn getaway, The RoseMary Inn speaks hospitality and comfort loudly and clearly. Overlooking a picture-postcard pond, surrounded by seventeen pastoral acres, the inn is furnished with period antiques. There are five distinctive guestrooms for your lodging accommodations — all with separate heat/ac controls, Wi-Fi, sound board for privacy, etc.
Nature trails wind throughout the property inviting you to view abundant wildlife and birds. For more avid hikers, the Inn, situated at the edge of the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area, offers quick access, not only to the spectacular network of hiking trails in the Gap, but also to the Appalachian Trail, which runs along the top of the Kittatinny Ridge, and the Paulinskill Valley Trail, a former railbed perfect for long bike rides. The inn also shares their Columbia address with the beloved Lakota Wolf Preserve, the Brook Hollow Winery, an abundance of farms, and several fine restaurants.
A complimentary traditional-style European breakfast lures guests to the table every morning with a multiple-course menu that varies with the seasons. 88 Hainesburg River Road in Columbia. Call 908-496-8855 or click!


Dogdom

A remnant of the Dodge Estate, in private hands for well over a century, is now accessible for public recreation.
Of all the things that Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge left behind—the thirty-five room mansion, hundreds of acres of prime real estate in one of the nation's wealthiest counties, a Fifth Avenue townhouse, enough sterling silver trophies and bronze sculptures to sink a small ship, museum quality paintings, and a forty-four carat sapphire, St. Hubert's Giralda may have been the one she valued most; a haven for unhappy dogdom. More...

The Shape You're In

AT hikers look out over Warren County.
Got a couple of days coming to you? How about walking the Appalachian Trail through New Jersey? You can do this!

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Short Walks on the Long Trail

The Appalachian Trail, which stretches over two thousand miles from Georgia to Maine, enters New Jersey at the Delaware Water Gap, heads north along the Kittatinny Ridge to High Point, then east through the Pochuck Valley. The 72-mile New Jersey section is mostly undeveloped, and striking panoramas -- comparable to those in the Blue Ridge, Berkshire, and White Mountains, even the fabled Great Smokies -- are not uncommon along this rugged and remote section of trail. You can explore the midsection of New Jersey's Appalachian Trail as it traverses two of our most celebrated state parks — High Point and Stokes Forest — and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, along a 45-mile route along the Kittatinny Ridge through Sussex and Warren counties. Country lanes or park roads every few miles intersect the entire stretch so that you can plan any number of modest day hikes along the AT. Or take a couple of days to walk the whole distance. Elevation in this section ranges from 350 to 1,685 feet, and, if you prefer to walk downhill most of the time, hike north to south. You can conquer the Trail this summer by taking these suggested day hikes.
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