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Overview

Just a short drive west from the dense industrial landscape that often defines New Jersey are the Skylands, a region of intense natural beauty that includes lush state parks, picturesque farms, and mountainous backdrops. With ample open space and a lower average winter temperature than the rest of the state, it’s no wonder the Skylands are NJ’s hub for seasonal outdoor activities. Sports such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing are popular region-wide, especially in parks like Wawayanda, Ringwood, Round Valley, and High Point. The Vernon Valley is home to both the family-oriented Hidden Valley Ski Club and Mountain Creek ...

Just a short drive west from the dense industrial landscape that often defines New Jersey are the Skylands, a region of intense natural beauty that includes lush state parks, picturesque farms, and mountainous backdrops. With ample open space and a lower average winter temperature than the rest of the state, it’s no wonder the Skylands are NJ’s hub for seasonal outdoor activities. Sports such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing are popular region-wide, especially in parks like Wawayanda, Ringwood, Round Valley, and High Point. The Vernon Valley is home to both the family-oriented Hidden Valley Ski Club and Mountain Creek Resort, which along with intermediate and black-diamond downhill ski slopes dedicates approximately half its resort to snowboarding, and hosts an area strictly for snow-tubing. You'll find old mining towns — including the world's "Fluorescent Mineral Capital" — in the region's north, while its western border is lined by a stretch of charming riverfront establishments boasting antique shops and art galleries perfect for holiday shopping. The Skylands claim their fair share of history as well, including Morristown — the country's first national historic park — and Flemington Borough, site of the 1930s Lindbergh "Trial of the Century."

Laura Kiniry
About the Expert

Laura Kiniry is the author of Moon Handbooks New Jersey.

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Laura Kiniry for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter is an ideal time to experience the region's shopping and scenery, and to take part in seasonal sports. Stores often extend their hours prior to the holidays, though downtowns can get crowded and traffic heavy. Try January or February for a quieter--albeit colder--visit.