Summer, 2020

Seasonal Stories

Appalachian Trail Short Hikes

With a little planning and a map or two, the New Jersey section can be conquered one day at a time in seven modest day-hikes.

Canoeing the Delaware River

The main stem of the Delaware, 331 miles from Hancock, NY, to its mouth at Cape May Point, NJ, is the longest free-flowing river in Eastern United States.

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.

Spring In Your Step

A mix of historic buildings of varying architectural styles, a walkable downtown, and plentiful eateries surrounded by rural tranquility make Newton a fusion of the then and the now, with great expectations for the to be.

God's In Heaven

In this time of twenty-four-hour news cycles, divisive politics, never-ending wars, and exotic viruses, I find myself returning to Bonnie Brook during these precious few weeks of spring, when the woodland flowers are in bloom, the earth's young are still filled with wonder, and the trout of Bonnie Brook are once again willing to come out and play. For this remains a time when God is in heaven and for a brief time all's once again right with my world.

If You Plant It, Will They Come?

Insects are critical components of any natural area. Gardeners have become increasingly aware that, if we want wildlife in our gardens, we must support all life stages, year 'round. With the fragmented state of our natural areas, wildlife relies on our gardens, yards, fields, hedgerows, and woodlots to survive. When using native plants in a landscape, we are attempting to recreate functioning ecosystems to support the wonderful wildlife that, in fact, needs us to survive.

Kayaking on Cranberry Lake

My kayak has become my favorite mode for reaching wildness, taking me places otherwise inaccessible. I can paddle into spots that are only a few inches deep and explore those hard-to-get-to sections of a river or hidden cove on a lake. One of those wild places that I never get tired of exploring is Cranberry Lake in Byram.

Wildlife Management Area Hikes

Discover over 305,000 acres of little known forests, meadows, streams, and lakes collectively called Wildlife Management Areas - all public property, all owned by the people of New Jersey.

Branchville Country

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,

Consider: From the vantage of the stars

The word "consider" has its origin in the early French word for star-like: "sidereal". We might suggest that "consider" now has an expanded meaning, suggesting that by referencing contemporary theories of stars, their origin, nature and function over the thirteen-billion-year history of the universe, we are given profoundly new and powerful insights.

Hybrid Bass Fishing

Pound for pound, the hybrid striped bass rates right up there with the best of the fresh water fish when it comes to putting up a good fight once hooked. Pound for pound, the walleye is hard to beat for table fare, with some fishermen calling it the best tasting fish of them all. Fortunately for those anglers in this part of the state who like some muscle on the end of their line and tasty fillets on the table, there are plenty of both fish around due to vigorous and well-planned stocking programs. These fish are there ... but you're going to have to work for them

Skylands By Saddle

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.

A General Birding Guide

The pursuit of birds in view appeals to lots of people for lots of reasons. Beyond the activity's obvious natural allure, "chasing" birds keeps watchers physically fit. Learning and identifying hundreds of species on the fly challenges the intellect and intensifies awareness. And for photographers and illustrators, there is no better subject. The concentration of ridges, valleys and wetlands in our area holds a fortune of interaction with the avian experience any time of year, but especially in spring.

Comfort Food

Seven out of six hundred New Jersey diners sit in Warren County. Last year there were eight, until the Crossroads Diner was wrapped up and loaded on a flatbed for transport to upstate New York, having been sold at auction on eBay to a buyer who promised new life for the pressed metal panel frame, wide glass windows, customer booths and counter stools, pie case, and iconic exterior neon lighting. In their heyday, 6,000 diners hosted travelers across America. Only about one-third of them remain, but New Jersey remains the most diner-dense, and people-dense, state.

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.

Wawayanda State Park

As wild as its name, the land of "winding, winding water" is home to Indian shelters and some of the best bear dens in NJ, a lake to swim and boat on, great gobs of pudding stone to climb, rock to scramble, ledges for leaping, primeval forest, 20 miles of Appalachian Trail and so much more

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