Far Hills, New Jersey: A Tapestry of History, Education, and Tranquility
Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Somerset County, Far Hills, New Jersey, is a charming township that seamlessly blends history, affluence, and natural beauty. With a rich history dating back to its founding, Far Hills has evolved into a community known for its prestigious schools, lush greenery, and a range of activities that cater to residents and visitors alike.
Far Hills traces its roots back to the late 19th century when the area was predominantly rural farmland. The township’s incorporation in 1921 marked the formal establishment of Far Hills as a distinct community. Initially, the town was known as “Wells Village,” named after a prominent local landowner, but was later renamed to Far Hills in reflection of its elevated topography.
Over the years, Far Hills has evolved from its agrarian beginnings to become an affluent residential community with a commitment to preserving its natural surroundings. Today, it stands as a testament to the balance between modern development and historical preservation.
Population and Demographics:
Far Hills is known for its low population density and expansive estates. The population, as of the last available data, is relatively small compared to neighboring towns, contributing to the area’s peaceful atmosphere and close-knit community feel. The demographic makeup of Far Hills reflects a blend of affluence and diversity, with residents appreciating the tranquil surroundings and the proximity to urban centers like New York City.
Education in Far Hills:
One of the defining features of Far Hills is its commitment to education, with a focus on providing top-notch schooling for its residents. The township is home to some of the best schools in the state, drawing families seeking a high-quality education for their children. Notable educational institutions in the area include:
Far Hills Country Day School: Founded in 1929, this independent school offers a comprehensive education from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. With a commitment to academic excellence and a nurturing environment, Far Hills Country Day School prepares students for success in their academic and personal lives.
Bernards High School: Serving students from Far Hills and surrounding areas, Bernards High School is known for its strong academic programs, diverse extracurricular activities, and a supportive learning environment. Students graduating from Bernards High School are well-prepared for the challenges of higher education and beyond.
The Willow School: Emphasizing sustainability and experiential learning, The Willow School provides an environmentally conscious education for students from preschool through eighth grade. The school’s commitment to fostering a love for learning and environmental stewardship aligns with the values of the Far Hills community.
Top 10 Things to Do and Visit in Far Hills:
Natirar Park: A sprawling 404-acre park, Natirar offers walking trails, fishing areas, and scenic spots for picnics. The park’s diverse landscapes make it a favorite destination for nature enthusiasts.
The United States Golf Association (USGA) Museum: Located in Far Hills, the USGA Museum celebrates the history of golf in the United States. Visitors can explore exhibits highlighting the sport’s evolution and its impact on American culture.
Historic Blairsden Mansion: This grand mansion, built in the early 20th century, is an architectural gem and a testament to the township’s affluent past. While not always open to the public, events and tours occasionally allow visitors to appreciate its historic charm.
Trump National Golf Club: A world-class golf course designed by Tom Fazio, the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, adjacent to Far Hills, provides a luxurious golfing experience with scenic views of the surrounding countryside.
The Far Hills Race Meeting: Known as “The Hunt,” this steeplechase horse racing event is a beloved tradition in Far Hills, drawing thousands of spectators. Held annually in October, it combines equestrian excitement with social gatherings.
The Raptor Trust: Located nearby in Millington, The Raptor Trust is a haven for injured and orphaned birds of prey. Visitors can learn about these majestic birds and witness rehabilitation efforts.
Leonard J. Buck Garden: A horticultural gem, this 33-acre garden showcases a diverse collection of plants, including rock gardens, woodlands, and a picturesque stream. It’s a serene escape for those seeking a connection with nature.
Downtown Far Hills: The quaint downtown area offers charming shops, boutiques, and restaurants. It’s a delightful place to stroll, shop, and enjoy a meal in a relaxed setting.
The Grain House at the Olde Mill Inn: This historic restaurant, located in nearby Basking Ridge, provides a warm and inviting atmosphere with its colonial-era charm. It’s an excellent choice for a fine dining experience.
Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary: Managed by the New Jersey Audubon Society, this sanctuary in nearby Bernardsville offers miles of trails through diverse habitats, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.