Morris County, among the fastest growing counties in the Tristate Metropolitan region, is nestled amid rolling hills, broad valleys and glittering lakes approximately 30 miles northwest of New York City.
Rich in historic lore and tradition, Morris County was created by an Act of the State Legislature on March 15, 1738 separating it from Hunterdon County, one of the state’s largest counties of the period. Named after Colonel Lewis Morris, then Governor of the Province of New Jersey, it originally included what are now the counties of Morris, Sussex and Warren.
The county today combines natural beauty and pleasant suburban living with proximity to metropolitan surroundings. Its rolling landscape is dotted with lakes and rivers which form most of its boundaries with the adjacent counties of Essex, Union, Somerset, Warren, Sussex and Passaic.
Much of its beauty has been protected and preserved by the Board of Chosen Freeholders through its Park Commission, formed by referendum in 1955 to set aside and develop land for leisure time and recreational use. Nearly 11,000 acres make up the system, one of New Jersey’s finest. Included are outdoor education centers, a marina, golf courses, a riding stable, indoor ice skating arena, cultural center, arboretums, and numerous types of hiking, cycling, wildflower and nature trails.
At its most distant points, the county stretches 30 miles from east to west and 30 miles from north to south. Its temperatures vary widely from area to area, averaging in the middle 20’s in the winter months and the low 70’s in the summer. About 50 inches of rain and 35 inches of snow fall each year.
Hills and valleys that run east-west, with rocky outcrops as high as 1,000 feet above sea level, have long hindered transportation from north to south. Major interstate highways (80, 10, 46, 287 and 280) connect many municipalities.
There are 39 municipalities in the 477.8 square mile county, varying in size from tiny Victory Gardens Borough with 1,314 residents to Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, with almost 48,500 residents. All together more than 421,000 persons reside in Morris County.
During the Revolutionary War, Morris County was known as The Military Capital of the American Revolution, because of its strategic location, which prompted Gen. George Washington and his Continental Army to make their winter encampments near Morristown on two different winters. Much of the historic lore of these encampments is preserved today in Morristown National Historical Park. The beautiful 127-acre Frelinghuysen Arboretum offers a serene place to learn more about plants well-suited to the soils and climate of Morris County. Surrounding a magnificent Colonial Revival mansion, the woodlands, meadows, beautiful gardens and distinctive collections of trees and shrubs make an ideal setting for leisurely strolls.
NJ Transit operates an extensive commuter rail network, particularly in northern New Jersey. It offers connections with other rail service, including PATH, MTA, Amtrak, SEPTA, and PATCO. Morristown Line and Gladstone Branch both have service to New York Penn Station, Newark-Broad Street Station, and Hoboken. The Montclair-Boonton Line provides service to Hoboken with connections to New York.