Mountain Lakes is an affluent suburban borough in Morris County, New Jersey renowned for its scenic beauty and high quality of life. This coveted community sits northwest of Newark, nestled among pristine lakes and wooded hills.
Mountain Lakes has roughly 4,400 residents inhabiting its 2 square miles according to census data. The population skews older, with a median age of 46.5 years.
The community is predominantly white, with Asian, Hispanic, and multiracial groups making up most of the remainder. Household sizes lean smaller, with roughly 70% being married couples or single occupants.
Fast Facts – Mountain Lakes, NJ
- Median age 46.5 years
- Male-female ratio 48% male, 52% female
- Most common languages English, Spanish, Korean spoken
- Most common religions Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism
- Unemployment rate 2.7%
- Poverty rate 3.2%
Mountain Lakes traces its history to a Lenape village beside the Rockaway River in pre-colonial times. The borough officially incorporated in 1895 when developers dammed local lakes to create a mountaintop oasis accessible from New York City.
Growth surged as rail lines reached the community in the early 1900s. Mountain Lakes became a respite for wealthy families seeking fresh air, recreation, and scenic vistas outside the city. Historic early 20th century homes still line its streets.
Quality of Life
Exceptional schools, upscale amenities, and abundant recreation yield an enviable quality of life in Mountain Lakes. Quiet streets encourage community engagement between neighbors. Concerts, festivals, and holiday celebrations further bring residents together.
Outdoor enthusiasts take full advantage of the borough’s namesake lakes, parks, and trails. Canoeing, fishing, and hiking options abound just steps from home. The historic downtown also provides shops and eateries to explore.
Residents enjoy top-tier healthcare with Morristown Medical Center just minutes away. This regional hospital provides comprehensive services including emergency care, cancer treatment, maternity services, and specialty clinics.
For everyday needs, private practices and medical centers staffed by top physicians operate within the borough. Excellent access contributes to health stats beating state and national averages.
Mountain Lakes maintains extremely low crime rates, with violent offenses almost unheard of. Diligent neighborhood monitoring supplements a visible police presence patrolling the community. Citizens can walk streets day or night feeling completely secure.
The borough’s volunteer fire department staffs one station providing fire response and emergency medical services. Fire risks are low thanks to modern building codes and proactive prevention.
While many residents commute to New York City for work, travel is not an issue in Mountain Lakes. Over 90% drive to work, taking advantage of easy highway access and plentiful parking. For an alternate commute, train and bus connections reach Manhattan in under 90 minutes.
Locally, major county roads make travel convenient between neighborhood amenities. Minimal congestion makes gets around simple outside of occasional school rush hours.
Shopping and Dining
Mountain Lakes restaurants range from cozy cafes to upscale steakhouses. The historic downtown offers shopping opportunities in boutiques, galleries, and specialty stores. Neighboring communities provide big box stores and malls for wider selection.
Twice weekly farmers markets provide outlets for regional growers and food makers. Residents have easy access to everything required for household needs and unique luxuries befitting the affluent community.
The Mountain Lakes School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. All three schools earn recognition among New Jersey’s top performers, with test scores and graduation rates exceeding state averages.
The district emphasizes individualized instruction, advanced STEAM skills, and creativity. Nearly all graduates pursue higher education, accepted to prestigious colleges and universities nationwide.
Points of Interest
- Mountain Lakes Reservoirs: The borough’s network of scenic lakes provides recreation and breathtaking vistas. Visitors can boat, fish, hike the waterfront, or simply relax lakeside.
- Wildwood Park: Trails wind through this 89 acre wooded park overlooking Mountain Lake. Wildlife sightings are common from ducks to deer alongside diverse vegetation.
- Downtown Mountain Lakes: Stroll along winding Main Street and Mountain Avenue to uncover boutiques, cafes, galleries, and historic architecture.
- Briarcliff-Mountain Lakes Rail Trail: Walk, run, or bike this 6 mile path following the former Morris Canal route. Interpretive signs detail the area’s past.
- Macculloch Hall Historical Museum: Inside a preserved 19th century mansion, artifacts and exhibits tell the story of Mountain Lakes’ development from Lenape times onward.