Gentle mountains. Skiing. Rock climbing. Horseback riding.Would you believe you're in New Jersey?
It's true - all of this and more can be found less than an hour's drive from New York City. The endless recreational opportunities of the Skylands Region have always been one of New Jersey's best-kept secrets.
By land, sea and air, there's plenty for visitors to do here all year long. Campers can pitch their tents in several state parks and at one of the many private campgrounds in the area; swimmers, boaters and fishermen will find a haven at Lake Hopatcong, the state's largest lake; and hot-air-balloon enthusiasts can enjoy the region from another perspective: floating through the skies high above a quilt of emerald fields. The Skylands Region is home to the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning.
If it's amusement park fun you seek, check out Mountain Creek in Vernon. Somewhat more genteel diversions can be found during the region's numerous winery festivals or at the Sussex Farm and Horse Show in August.
In late summer hikers can find fall sneaking into the Skylands Region early, painting the foliage of the Kittatiny and Watchung mountains in bright oranges and yellows. Autumn is a perfect time to tour a local winery or visit the Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia.
Winter's arrival could find you schussing down the slopes, or gliding cross-country at one of the regions popular ski areas.
But you don't have to be the outdoors-type to enjoy all the Skylands Region has to offer. Cultural experiences also abound here. Take a seat at one of the region's several playhouses - there is the Commons Theater at Drew University in Madison or the Morris Museum in Morristown. At the Sterling Hill Mine & Museum in Ogdensburg, or the Franklin Mineral Museum take in the Skylands from a novel view - underground, on a mine tour. Visit Lambertville, the antiques and flea market capital of the region.
History runs deep in the Skylands Region. George Washington truly did sleep here he and his Continental Army spent the winter of 1779-80 in Morristown. Today, you can stop at the Rockingham Historic Site in Rocky Hill, where General Washington penned his "Farewell to the Armies" address in 1783. Another popular site is the carefully restored Waterloo Village, a 19th century village with shops and acclaimed annual music festivals.
For cultural experiences or just plain fun, the sky's the limit in the Skylands Region - indoors, outdoors, any time of year.