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July 21 - 28

Flying jewels of summer! Eastern tiger swallowtail (Dan Bacon)
Spread your wings and reach for the Skylands this and every week this summer.

Ye Olde Lake

Lake Hopatcong is central to the New Jersey Skylands, not only geographically, but also to the many levels and facets of the region's character. Its name derived from the language of the people who first inhabited these fertile grounds along the Minisink Trail, Hopatcong's waters reflect Northwest New Jersey's prolific history of transportation, industry and recreation. If you take a drive around the lake, or if you're fortunate enough to enjoy a boat or kayak ride on the water, we hope that, from this brief account of the lake's evolution, you'll understand a bit more about where you are.

The nature of preservation

The eight miles of trails at the Schiff Nature Preserve in Mendham Township are generous with beautiful vistas, challenging terrain, and a variety of natural habitats. The preserve, which encompasses over 300 acres in this historic river valley, has a history as vast and expansive as its terrain. Knowing the stories of those who walked these trails before - from Native Americans, to Revolutionary War heroes, to Norman Rockwell and the Boy Scouts of America - will embellish your trip. And visitors can be confident in the stewardship at the preserve that will usher it into the future.

Your Neighbor's Cow

Dairy workers at the Springhouse Creamery.
A gallon of milk from the supermarket is a combined effort of thousands of cows, raised on any number of farms who knows where. But single herd milk is just that: milk exclusively from the cows that reside on one dairy farm. Northwest New Jersey is now home to two dairy farmers who sell their milk directly to the consumer. It may not seem like much, but it is an important step forward in developing a more direct relationship between food and farm. Cream at the top! Read more and go get some!

Super Intentions

Copper Mine Inn on Old Mine Road
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DEWA) 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!
There are over 500 buildings in the park, nearly 300 of which are listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and the park’s most recently published maintenance backlog was calculated at $147 million with $55 million on buildings alone. In 2017, the park asked for public input on the multi-step prioritization strategy that was developed as an objective, criteria-based tool to help the park prioritize maintenance and funding for historic structures. The draft Historic Buildings Strategy (HBS) is now available for a public review and comment period through August 10, 2021.
A virtual public meeting is also scheduled for July 28, 2021 at 7 pm. Attendees are encouraged to log in to the meeting using the this link. Park staff will explain the HBS and answer questions. For more information on this project, click or call park headquarters at 570-426-2472. Have your say!

Camp Skylands!

Located in Sussex County near the Kittatinny Mountains, Kymer Camping Resort offers park model, cabin and luxury tent rentals as well as trailer or tent campsites with water, electric and cable TV hookups on two-hundred scenic acres at 69 Kymer Road in Branchville. And if you think camping is only for those who own camping equipment, think again. Kymer's offers exciting rental options for those families that want to enjoy the camping experience without having to purchase their own camping equipment. Trailer or cabin rentals are also available. And each weekend, there's something special going on. This weekend it's Christmas In July! Create some memories in the great outdoors!



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While you wait for the mailman, tap our calendar for the best events for you and your family, or check our current stories. Stay tuned to our Day Trip Map for good ideas for a scenic drive! For the more aerobically inclined, the Outdoor Map shows the way to go, or choose among dozens of natural attractions or outdoor activities suggested on our website. Choose your own adventure!
Northwest New Jersey and destinations just beyond those borders, in Pennsylvania and New York, offer brilliant ways to get out and enjoy the pleasures of the season.
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