“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.
Who has not been enchanted by the mysterious hummingbird? You can turn your backyard into a hummingbird paradise, a place where these beautiful creatures will become regular visitors. Don't let them pass you by!
In the Ramapo Mountains of Ringwood lies one of New Jersey's most exquisite gems, the New Jersey State Botanical Garden (NJGB). Its ninety-six cultivated acres are a secret to many -- for others, a joyous discovery waiting to happen.
Left to its own devices, every drop of rain that falls in Warren County eventually finds its way to the Delaware River. The route each drop takes is determined by what is known as a watershed, an area of land that drains into a creek, stream, river or lake. The long linear river valleys of the Paulins Kill, Pequest River, Pohatcong Creek, Lopatcong Creek and Musconetcong, which run generally parallel from northeast to southwest, are main channels for flow across the county towards its western border, all part of the larger Delaware River watershed.
A house concert is different than other music venues. Put simply, it's a private party -- a small gathering of music lovers who sit up close and personal in front of the artist. Guests bring a dish for potluck pleasure, a chair and BYOB. All donations collected by the host go to the musicians.
Lopatcong Creek pours down the Scotts Mountain Ridge in Harmony Township towards its appointment with the Delaware River twelve miles southwest at Phillipsburg.
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!"
Bridges beguile with their simple beauty. A bridge's context and charm can make your passage delightful.
I often wonder that if more of us spent time along the bank of a stream or in a field of wildflowers there would be less strife in the world. If only we could appreciate those simple gifts found just outside our door, we might be more willing to set aside our prejudices, less inclined to dredge up old grievances, make war.
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.
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.