Western Highlands Scenic Byway
- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2021)
- Intrinsic QualitiesRecreation
- Length23 miles
Take a trip along the Western Highlands Scenic Byway where you can witness the beauty that northern New Jersey has to offer. There are both recreational and historical intrinsic qualities of the Byway, all of which visitors have complete access to. The Byway was created to protect the nature of the area, so the views are truly immaculate since they are so well preserved. Recreational activities are abundant in this area as well no matter the time of year!
Story of the Byway
The Western Highlands Byway is a destination that anyone can visit no matter what time of year and are able to have a wonderful time. Since is it only 23 miles long, this Byway is able to be traveled in a short period of time while also allowing visitors to experience all that it has to offer. Visitors have the chance to experience the peace and tranquility of the area along this Byway. With plenty of hiking trails and parks along the way, the list of activities and sights to see are truly endless along this beautiful roadway. If Winter is your favorite season, this Byway can accommodate you in just as many ways! There are beautiful hiking trails still available in the winter and plenty of skiing options.
This Byway crosses directly through six miles of uninterrupted forest and and has some of the most gorgeous views of the Western Highlands. Visitors can experience these sights to their fullest potential by climbing Wawayanda Mountain on the “Stairway to Heaven” which brings you to one of the best views in the entire state, Pinwheel Vista. There are also plenty of campsites along the Byway, where visitors have the opportunity to hike, bike, fish, and much more. Wawayanda State Park is a highlight of the area which covers over 30,000 acres of land. Here visitors can experience activities galore with so many opportunities to enjoy nature in its purest form. Birding is also a very common activity at some of the locations along this Byway, with some of the most unique and beautiful birds and hawks that are present in the area.
The nature of the area would be enough to take a trip along this Scenic Byway, but there is plenty of history and culture that can be experienced here as well. There are many layers to the history of the area, with both Native Americans and the original European settlers having a presence in the area at some point. This history and culture can be captured through some of the many farms located along the Byway such as the Van Dokkenburg Farm which dates back all the way to 1820. Farming was a very important part of the economy of the area in the past, and to see some of the farms still intact from that long ago is truly a fascinating sight to see. What makes this land so historic and meaningful is how well it has been conserved and preserved throughout the years. Preservation dates to the 1890s when the area along the Byway was preserved with the creation of Wildlife Management Areas.
There truly is something for everybody along the Western Highlands Byway. Visitors have the opportunity to see the most beautiful sights of the Western Highlands in New Jersey. With recreational activities filling the area and history wove throughout, this Byway is the perfect place to spend a day or weekend with the family, or whomever, since there is something for everybody.
The Western Highlands Scenic Byway is located in the northwest corner of New Jersey in Sussex County and the New Jersey Highlands. It also runs along a portion of the Appalachian tral and can be accessed from multiple different points along the route.
Points of Interest
Pochuck Boardwalk Section of Appalachian Trail
1.5 mile long trail along the iconic Appalachian Trail is perfect for a causal stroll to take in beautiful scenery.
Hikers and walkers are rewarded at the end of this trail with one of the most beautiful views in the State of New Jersey of the Kittatinny Mountains.
Wawayanda State Park and Iron Furnace
A vast 35,000 acre state park that encompasses the beautiful Lake Wawayanda has trails galore and plenty of other opportunitites for fun and recreation.
Black Creek Site
Native American site on the National Register of Historic Places with artifacts dating back 10,000 years.
Journey through the Western Highlands
If you start your trip on the Western Highlands Scenic Byway from route 515 in Stockholm, you are in for a wonderful scenic drive through northern New Jersey. Right from the start, you have the chance to take in the history of the area by visiting the Stockholm United Methodist Church which was built in 1826. When you start driving north along the Byway, you can take in the natural beauty that this area has to offer. Passing through beautiful hilly and mountainous landscapes through the Hamburg Mountain Wildlife Management Area, there is no arguing how wonderful this area is. If you want to experience it to its fullest, there are plenty of hiking and walking trails along the way to travel and explore. As you head more north toward Vernon Township there are many sites that you can visit. This quaint town has beautiful scenery throughout and contains many shops and restaurants for visitors to enjoy. At this point in the journey, you can follow signs for route 94, which leads directly to Wawayanda State Park. Here you can complete your journey along this byway with a wonderful hike up Wawayanda Mountain. If you are already tired out, no problem! You can simply just take in the beauty of the Park on one of the many walking trails to take in the natural beauty of one of New Jersey’s true gems.
Update this byway information today!