“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.
One thing that most people are not aware of, not even native New Jerseyans, is that the west central part of the state has the greatest diversity of barn types perhaps in the entire North American continent. A mixture of German, Holland Dutch and English customs, and a pronounced blending of Old World craft traditions, produced a multitude of various barn constructions. More than 150 years ago, they went truly ballistic with all kinds of barn building expressions.
The sustained productivity of the Sparta Mountain iron mines, which began in the late 1700s, attracted the attention of Thomas Edison, who built a massive experimental plant to process iron ore and a namesake village in 1889.
Madison's stately 1935 borough hall, donated by Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge in memory of her only son, is across Green Street from a pocket park maintained by the garden club, a quiet sanctuary of paths and benches surrounding a plot of hybrid tea roses. Other beautiful red roses grow in from of the "Hartley Dodge," as people call the borough hall, and between the railroad tracks and the Madison Station, also built by Geraldine Dodge. The roses themselves are a kind of memorial to Madison's history as The Rose City.
Here are artists who inspire their own inherent talents with other gifts from nature: a modern-day fossil maker, a wood carver with a global view, a painter of nature and emotion, and a horticultural sculptor of living art.
Romance ensued between Betsy Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton, as the young, ambitious soldier courted the beautiful socialite in this historic Morristown home during the 1779-80 Revolutionary War encampment.
Through warm summer months and into fall, you can explore rivers, streams, fields, and hills and enjoy remote views and vistas-all from the saddle. Across the Skylands region, a horse can take you where no car can?faster and sometimes farther afield than your own two feet. Exercise? Certainly. But also the pleasure of working with a 1,000-pound companion who can handle the footwork.
On the way North through Sussex County on Rt. 206, there's a tiny, old-time borough called Branchville. Just one-half square mile large, it is packed with history, old buildings, new business and interesting people, and where contemporary meets traditional. Surrounded by mountains and glacial lakes, farms, wineries, campgrounds, state parks and forests,
Islands of the Delaware are markers for the miles traversed on a float down the river, and for centuries of human history along its banks.
Somerset County’s showcase of historical sites.
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.