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 Autumn, 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.

Cosmology and the Present Moment

With the multiple shock waves of this year's events, it could seem utterly naive to hope that today's adult decision makers could face the challenge of exploring a new cosmological perspective different than the familiar one of the past centuries. But that is exactly what Swimme, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking have proposed by entreating and encouraging us to change our own inadequate perceptions of the world around us.

If Not Now, When?

It's been a tough year's virus we can't seem to control, economic hardship, social unrest across the country, the warmest summer on record, and a citizenry as divided as it has ever been. These are the thoughts running through my mind while driving toward Bonnie Brook on this fall morning. Alongside the road, tawny strains of summer grasses wave in the breeze that sweeps across the fields. A barn leans to one side. In need of painting, the roof sags like the back of an old mare.

Risky Business: Bringing in the Hemp

In August, 2019, the New Jersey Hemp Farming Act became law under the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA). Only those who pass the screening process, criminal background checks and fingerprinting can apply to obtain a license. And there must also be a particular appetite for risk in order to bring in New Jersey's first industrial hemp crop.

Fall Foliage

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.

King of Drakesville

Just off the old, now-vanished, Ledgewood Circle, a stone's throw from the mall, the Drakesville Historic Park pays tribute to Morris County's pedigree of innovative pioneers.

Park Place: Montague and High Point

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.

Fifty Ways To See Warren

Warren County offers a wide range of recreational opportunities for all kinds of people. Outdoor lovers enjoy rigorous hikes, abundant wildlife and superb scenery. All agree that Warren County's rural nature is the key to its allure.

Reservoir Relaxation: Split Rock,Taylortown and Boonton

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. 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.

Thanks for Thirty

It has been thirty years since the Skylands Visitor magazine was conceived in partnership with the Skylands Tourism Council to promote tourism in Northwest New Jersey. The tourism council is long dissolved, but our publication has survived primarily to the overwhelming support that has come from a wide range of brilliant writers and photographers. We'll start by remembering these three writers, mostly because they're gone and are sorely missed. There are many more, and we'll go along this year, and maybe next, trying to adequately acknowledge their gifts.

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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