Description - Information provided by New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry The State Botanical Garden
Dedicated in 1984, the garden is the culmination of two eras of landscape architecture under the direction of Francis Lynde Stetson, owner of Skylands from 1891-1922. The garden contains an extensive variety of plants, evergreens and deciduous trees and shrubs in specialty areas. Of particular interest are the crabapple vista, terraced gardens, perennial and annual gardens and woodland paths. The extensive vistas of the garden and veiw of Ramapo Mountains frame this 96-acre botanical showplace. Visitors can tour the gardens and surrounding woods year round, from 8 am to 8 pm. For more info check out the New Jersey State Botanical Gardens (NJBG) Skylands Association Web site.
This beautiful country house, which was home for a succession of well-known ironmasters for nearly 200 years, sits comfortably on a low hill overlooking a landscape that looks as if it escaped from a painting. Iron production in this area began in the 1740s. In the mid-19 century, Ringwood Manor was owned by Abram S. Hewitt, America's foremost ironmaster. Tours are offered from Wednesday through Sunday year round from 10 am to 3pm. Please call in advance to check the daily schedule. Ringwood Manor is part of a National Historic Landmark District.
- Skylands Manor
Skylands Manor with its English Jacobean architecture common in the English countryside 400 years ago, was designed by John Russell Pope for Clarence McKensie Lewis, a stockbrocker and civil engineer. Built in the 1920s, it is constructed of native stone and half-timbers. The weathered stone facade of this 44-room mansion blends into the landscape. The mansion contains rooms with antique paneling as well as new American Oak paneling and large windows, some of which contain 16th-century stained glass medallions. Moulded plaster ceilings and an elaborately carved staircase add the finishing touches to this impressive county house. Tours are offered one Sunday per month March through November.
Recreation - Shepherd Lake Recreation Area
The spring-fed waters of the 74-acre Shepherd Lake are brisk and invigorating and offer swimming from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day from 10 am to 6 pm. Boating, canoeing and fishing are permitted with boat rentals available. A network of trails surrounds the lake leading to rocky vistas.
Climate - The temperatures in New Jersey vary slightly, with the southern area being the warmest. Winter weather can start by October and is in full force by November, temperatures average 20 to 40 degrees. Spring can begin in mid March and brings temperatures of 50 degrees F, by April temperatures can reach 65 degrees F. Summer weather can extend from late May to mid September, and temperatures often reach 95 degrees during this season with nighttime lows near 65 degrees. Fall weather has temperatures between 65 and 45 degrees F. Precipitation levels in New Jersey are highest from March through August.
Bergen and Passaic Counties
Take Route 287 to exit 57, follow signs to Ringwood State Park.