One of the most highly regarded communities in New Jersey, Basking Ridge is considered upscale with lots of charm and hometown warmth. It is located in the heart of the Somerset Hills in northern Somerset County just west of New York City – just one hour to the mountains or the beach. With a great school system, many recreational opportunities and cultural events year round, people are drawn from all over to visit or relocate to our beautiful town. Located on the Gladstone branch of the Morris & Essex line makes Basking Ridge an easy commute to New York City.
Rapid growth over the last 25 years has sparked a huge expansion within the township’s school district. In recent years, voters passed a $38 million bond to build additions to the high school, middle school and several of the elementary schools. The Bernards Township school district is an award winning district, boasting awards such as the Rutgers University New Jersey School of Character designation, and the Somerset County Teacher of the Year award. District highlights also include a state of the art ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) program for children on the autism spectrum and one of the most highly regarded public high schools in the state. Ridge High is consistently ranked among New Jersey’s best in New Jersey Monthly Magazine as well as Newsweek’s annual survey of US secondary schools.
There are three main business districts within Bernards Township, each offering a variety of every day shopping needs ranging from grocery stores, drug stores, post offices and more. From antiques and collectibles to main stream shopping malls, there is something for everyone in and around Basking Ridge. The friendly main street in Basking Ridge has no traffic light, when you walk the brick sidewalks that line South Finley Avenue, you’ll find the Victorian storefronts filled with small merchants, restaurants and locally owned cafes; a few miles away yet still in town, you will find three newer outdoor shopping malls including an A&P, an AT&T cell phone store, Panera Bread, The Sneaker Factory and more!
Basking Ridge is a town that takes great pride in its history, but Bernards Township is anything but stuck in time. The city has a diverse and affluent population with several nationally recognized organizations headquartered here in town. Companies such Verizon and Verizon Wireless, Barnes & Noble and Sloan Kettering all have a presence here in Basking Ridge.
One of the most popular and well known points of interest in Basking Ridge is the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1960, it lies 26 miles west of New York City and seven miles south of Morristown. This 6,818 acre refuge is home to many old oak and beech trees, dozens of species of plants and over 200 species of birds. There is an environmental education center there that offers classes and special programs for young people and adults. The Pleasant Valley Pool, membership available only to township residents, offers a 50 meter ‘z’ shaped main pool with a diving tank, a shallow water training pool with a slide and a zero depth entry wading pool for the younger kids! Also featured is state of the art, “Pete’s Puddle” a water play are with interactive features and two slides. Sand volley ball, bocce ball and shuffleboard courts as well as a food concession.
The Bernards Township recreation department offers a myriad of activities for children through active adults as well as children with special needs. Bernards Township emergency services are 100% volunteer. From the Shade Tree committee to the 250th Anniversary Task Force there is something for everyone in Basking Ridge.