Kinnelon Borough

New Jersey

  • Population: 10,248
  • Size: 19.186 sq mi (49.69 km2)
  • Established: 1922
  • Distance from NYC: 36 miles
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 103 miles
  • Distance from Newark: 27 Miles

Kinnelon Borough, NJ real estate market

Market news - September 2019

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*Source - Trendgraphix and Garden State MLS. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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Kinnelon Borough Biography
Community Life
Real Estate
Local Attractions

About Kinnelon Borough

Located in northern Morris County, Kinnelon Borough measures about 19 square miles and is home to approximately 10,000 residents. Its scenic location contains numerous parks and hiking trails, making it equally appealing to those seeking an outdoor lifestyle as well as commuters who are close to Interstate 287 and Route 23. Situated about 30 miles from New York City, Kinnelon’s scenery is rural and serene since it’s nestled into the Ramapo Mountain range amid several lakes. This picturesque borough has also received positive press—in 2016, NJ Monthly magazine rated Kinnelon High School third in the state out of 337 high schools. In that same year, the borough came in as the Sixth Happiest Place to Live and was named one of the safest towns in the U.S.


Kinnelon was established in 1922 and named for Francis S. Kinney, a cigarette manufacturer who purchased 5,000 acres of farmland in the 1880s for an estate that included Lake Kinnelon; most of that parcel is now part of the Smoke Rise residential community. Among the local landmarks Kinney built is St. Hubert’s Chapel on an island in the center of Lake Kinnelon for his wife, Mary, in 1886. The interior of this stone church included stained glass windows from Tiffany & Company. Other Kinney-built structures are the east gate to Smoke Rise, which claims to be the oldest manned gate in the United States, and the Fire Tower, an obelisk-like stone building on Mountain Road which Kinney used to spot fires on his vast estate.

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Community Life

Surrounded by natural beauty, the borough includes several notable parks. Silas Condict County Park on Kinnelon Road is comprised of 1,000 acres containing hiking trails, a large lake for fishing and paddle boat rentals, picnic areas, sports fields and the Casino building which dates back to the prohibition era and can be rented out for parties and special events. Portions of Pyramid Mountain Natural Historical Area are located in Kinnelon. Splitrock Reservoir provides 625 acres of wilderness on the borders of Kinnelon and Rockaway Township. The highest mountain in Kinnelon is Kitty Ann Mountain which takes in sweeping views of northern New Jersey at an elevation of 1,140 feet.


The main shopping district in the borough is found at the intersection of Route 23 and Kinnelon Road. Kinnelon Mall and Meadtown Shopping Center are destinations for a multi-screen movie theater, grocery store, eateries, Marshalls, Petco and service businesses. For larger-scale retail shopping, residents head south to Riverdale for Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target, Walmart, Pier One and Costco, or visit regional malls in neighboring Rockaway and Wayne.

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Public schools in Kinnelon serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2017-18 school year, the district’s four schools had an enrollment of 1,815 students. There are two elementary schools, a middle school and high school in the district.


Kiel Elementary School for pre-kindergarten to grade 2 students offers a balanced literacy approach with guided reading, word work, read-alouds and shared reading and writing. Both the Kiel School and Stonybrook School for kindergarten through grade 5 offer gifted programs for first and second graders and KEY, a kindergarten enrichment program. Additionally, Stonybrook offers French and Spanish culture, STEM, band, choir, a Minecraft Club and more. The school has a state-of-the-art library-media center, three computer labs and laptop carts.


Pearl R. Miller Middle School for grades 6-8 offers collaborative grade-level teams of teachers who support a rigorous curriculum and a variety of co-curricular activities, clubs and sports.


In 2016, Kinnelon High School was named #3 in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine, the school’s highest ranking ever in that publication’s biannual rankings, and it was listed as a Top 500 High School nationwide by Newsweek magazine. Students can choose from over 270 different courses, including 32 Advanced Placement courses. 90% of students participate in co-curricular activities including state and national arts programs and 39 athletic teams.

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Route 23 skirts the northern edge of Kinnelon and accesses Interstate 287 in Riverdale just south of the borough. NJ Transit offers express bus service to Port Authority in midtown Manhattan on the 194X route from the Meadtown Shopping Center, a ride of about an hour.


The Wayne/Route 23 Transit Center about 10 miles south of Kinnelon offers rail service on the Montclair-Boonton line. Riders can transfer in Newark for trips to Penn Station in Manhattan. The Transit Center is also a NJ Transit bus terminal for service to Newark and Manhattan. For longer trips, Newark Liberty International Airport is about 40 miles from Kinnelon.

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Real Estate

Diverse housing options in Kinnelon range from small Cape Cod and ranch homes to luxurious custom-built residences, representing a variety of price ranges, sizes and architecture. There is a 55+ active adult community at Kinnelon Heights. For those interested in building a new home, parcels can often be found with distant mountain views, faraway glimpses of the New York skyline or waterfront properties on one of the borough’s several lakes.


Smoke Rise is a private, gated residential community comprised of over 900 homes on 3,500 acres of forested property. Some of the most popular homesites are situated on the banks of 19-acre Lake Kinnelon. Smoke Rise also provides 24-hour security and maintains its own road system and firehouse.


Another waterside community is Fayson Lakes which was built around three lakes in the southeastern corner of the borough; it is named for the developers who started the community in 1925: Frank Fay Jr. and his son Frank Fay III. Fayson Lakes offers a mix of home styles, from rustic winterized cabins to opulent custom-built homes.  


Both Fayson Lakes and Smoke Rise are club communities, which means residents pay an initiation fee and annual dues for activities and the use of lakefront beaches, basketball and tennis courts, sports fields and playgrounds.

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Local Attractions

Tripod Rock is an ancient marvel of physics in the Pyramid Mountain Natural Historical Area; it is known as a glacial erratic or “perched” boulder.  One of the area’s top hiking destinations, this multi-ton Precambrian gneiss boulder is located near the edge of a long ridge and is balanced on three smaller boulders. The point of contact between the main boulder and its support stones form an approximate triangle, thus the name Tripod Rock.


Longfellows Coffee across the street from the Meadtown Shopping Center at 2 Kiel Avenue is a tiny drive-through coffee and smoothie shop locals flock to for tasty drinks and snacks. Operating out of a compact shed-like location, it’s a unique and popular take-out spot for commuters.


The Kinnelon Museum is another small-scale treasure in the borough. Located in a former one-room school house at 25 Kiel Avenue, this 1873 building was purchased by Dr. Helen Miller who used as her home and medical practice starting in 1935, naming it L’Ecole and willing it to the town for use as a museum and historical archive. It is open on weekends from 1-4pm.


Fun Fact

During Prohibition in the 1920s, the Casino building (a former speakeasy) at Silas Condict Park was part of an illicit complex that included a 1,000-gallon applejack still. The still was cleverly concealed under the hinged front porch of a home that has since been torn down.

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