Quiet Streets and Beautiful Parks
People love Berkeley Heights with its quiet streets, comfortable homes and many parks. It's the perfect atmosphere to raise a family and enjoy life. This northern New Jersey town of approximately 13,500 residents offers many recreational activities and is consistently recognized as one of the best communities in which to live. Until the late 19thcentury, the community was considered part of New Providence, but in 1952, it became known as Berkeley Heights.
Throughout the town of Berkeley Heights, you will find a wide variety of architecture types including split-level homes, Cape homes, and vintage style houses. There are also condominiums that are contemporary in design and conveniently located on Springfield Avenue. One unique part of the town is designated Free Acres. In Free Acres, homeowners do not have any legal rights to the property that their homes are on, but rather they lease the land. It is a community that governs itself using the majority voting system, and residents are responsible for running their own water system and maintaining the roads. There are no streetlights in Free Acres as the community wishes to maintain its natural, rural setting.
In 1998, Berkeley Heights was featured in a New York Times article, If You're Thinking of Living In/Berkeley Heights, N.J.; Quiet Streets Near River and Mountain.
With an overall A+ rating in Niche, Berkeley Heights is a family-friendly community with excellent public schools:
Berkeley Heights has an excellent school system which includes three elementary schools, an early childhood center for Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade, a middle school, and the Governor Livingston High School. The students of Berkeley Heights matriculate into the school district for grades Pre-K through eighth grade. For grades 9 through 12, the town of Mountainside also feeds into Governor Livingston High School alongside the students of Berkeley Heights. An impressive 50% of high school students participate in Advanced Placement courses.
The overall niche.com grade for the Berkeley Heights public school system is an A+. The rankings for academics, college prep, teachers, and clubs and activities all similarly range from A to A+.
Commuting To and From Berkeley Heights
Berkeley Heights is on the Midtown Direct Gladstone Branch line. Residents can choose to either change trains at Hoboken or Summit and then continue on to New York City. Not only is Berkeley Heights easily accessible by train, but it is also near major highways such as I-78. The township has two municipal commuter lots within walking distance of the train station. There is also parking near the Murray Hill train station; Murray Hill is a community located in parts of Berkeley Heights and New Providence.
There is a beautiful brick walkway located near the train station that is sentimental in nature as it is inscribed with the names of residents who lived in Berkeley Heights for quite some time. It's a unique and charming aspect to the grounds that surround the station.
Parks & Recreation
Berkeley Heights has beautiful parks for residents to enjoy along with recreational programs that are designed for all ages. There are swim clubs, basketball and tennis courts, baseball fields, and a large playground. Also, there is a community pool located on Locust Avenue along with two other available pools for swimmers. The Recreation Department runs a number of classes after school that include sports, cheerleading, dodgeball and a dance party class.
There are several parks that residents can choose from – the primary two being Passaic River County Park and the Watchung Reservation. Activities include hiking the numerous trails, horseback riding, picnicking and fishing or canoeing. The Historic Village of Old Feltville is an old mill town with an interesting history and winding trails that attract history buffs and hikers alike.
Summer is a fun time for children in Berkeley Heights with a summer playground camp program for kindergarten through 7th grade. After morning camp, there is additional programming in the community center with classes that range from robotics to yoga and cooking. Along with youth sports and fitness programs, there are tennis classes, movies and outdoor concerts for all to enjoy. For older members of the community, Berkeley Heights has a senior circuit that has exercise classes throughout the summer.
Springfield Avenue is home to the Berkeley Heights shopping and business districts, and it is also where you will find the train station, police station, post office and the municipal building. There are many excellent restaurants in the township. A local favorite, the Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery has a large menu, wine list and handcrafted ales and lagers. Another popular eatery, Delicious Heights, has an eclectic menu that includes flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and a large variety of entrées. For foodies, Berkeley Heights has international cuisine that ranges from Chinese to Thai, Mexican and Asian Fusion.
Adjacent to Berkeley Heights is the Watchung Reservation. There are trails for horseback riding and hiking. The reservation also has a large playground area called the Loop Playground. On a nice day, children can be seen traversing the many climbing structures of the play area, and there's a running club that meets to enjoy trail runs within the reservation. The Berkeley Swim Club is another option for residents; it's a private club which offers a saltwater pool, outdoor games like ping pong and shuffleboard, and a picnic and play area for families to enjoy.