“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.
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.
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.
Hacklebarney State Park is 892 acres of glacial valley, with gorges carved by the Black River and two tributaries that feed it, the Rinehart and Trout Brooks. There are over 5 miles of trails.
Mary’s best (and easiest) veggie garden primer.
Friends groups, as we know them in relation to many of our parks and precious historic sites, are surely bound by their commitment to community and stewardship. Always not-for-profit and volunteer driven, with the occasional paid executive director, Friends groups connect people to natural places, as well as to our heritage, while enhancing the role of public lands in local communities.
The Morris Canal Greenway encompasses part of the historic Morris Canal's alignment and is a cooperative effort of the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, the Canal Society of New Jersey, Waterloo Village and Friends of the Morris Canal. As you walk the Greenway you will see the remains of canal features, including inclined planes, locks, canal bed, and historic industries and communities directly related to the Morris Canal's operations.
Lopatcong Creek pours down the Scotts Mountain Ridge in Harmony Township towards its appointment with the Delaware River twelve miles southwest at Phillipsburg.
The Paulins Kill is New Jersey's third-largest tributary of the Delaware River, and its watershed covers a total area of 177 square miles. The river flows north from its source near Newton in Sussex County, and then turns southwest toward the Warren County townships of Frelinghuysen, Hardwick, Blairstown, and Knowlton.
The Pequest starts just south of Newton and ends in Belvidere where it empties into the Delaware River. In Warren County, it passes near Allamuchy State Park, Jenny Jump State Forest, Pequest Wildlife Management Area, and the Beaver Brook Wildlife Management Area. The watershed includes a wealth of remnants from Warren County's agricultural and industrial heritage.
Following Pohatcong Mountain, another of the many Appalachian ridges that run through Warren County, the Pohatcong Watershed lies parallel and between those of the Musconetcong River to the south and the Pequest to the north.
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.
Forming the southern Warren County border, the big river runs forty-two-and-a-half miles through a wide valley flanked on the northwest by the Allamuchy and Pohatcong mountains, and Schooley's and Musconetcong mountains to the southeast in Morris and Hunterdon counties, twisting and turning over the ruins of our past.
From books and movies to commercials and graphic tee shirts, owls abound in popular culture. They draw us in with their big, soulful eyes and luxuriously soft-looking feathers, and we appreciate how that spark of interest can be nurtured into the type of informed appreciation that leads to conservation action. These amazing birds have earned their moment of fame and the platform it provides for education.
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.
What's in a name? As far back as the early 1700s the name Andover was used to refer to the whole general area. Over the years, various sites have borne the Andover name, including local iron mines, forges, furnaces, factories and settlements with a connection with these early iron interests.
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.
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.
There is another type of fishing, one that can be employed on smaller streams such as Bonnie Brook. Along these secret rills, I can cast to trout without coming upon another angler. In these narrow ribbons of water, hidden under shadows cast by hardwood and conifer, I've come to appreciate what Thoreau described as "... these jewels... these bright fluviatile flowers, made beautiful, the Lord only knows why, to swim there!"