Mountain Lakes

New Jersey

  • Population: 4160
  • Size: 2.8 sq miles (7.25 km2)
  • Established: 1924
  • Distance from NYC: 32
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 93
  • Distance from Newark: 23

Nearest Turpin Office

Turpin Realtors Chatham
(973) 635-5555

Mountain Lakes, 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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Mountain Lakes Biography
Community Life
Real Estate
Local Attractions

About Mountain Lakes

Mountain Lakes is a leafy, lake-dotted suburban town in Morris County, known as much for its scenic beauty as its exceptional public school system. The borough measures about three square miles and contains several different man-made lakes, with two reserved for swimming.  A population of about 4,200 residents gives the borough a friendly, small-town feeling.


Originally situated within Boonton and Hanover Townships, Mountain Lakes became an independent municipality in 1924. In the early 1900s the borough was developed by Herbert Hapgood, who created a master-planned community of stately lakefront homes inspired by that era’s Arts and Crafts movement. Hapgood originally called his community Mountain Lakes Residential Park.

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Community Life

Membership to the Mountain Lakes Club offers use of the historic 1931 lakefront clubhouse and restaurant as well as tennis courts, beach and pool swimming, boating, golf, bowling and year ‘round calendar of social events. The Mountain Lakes Library at 3 Elm Road has lending privileges with the county library system. 


A number of shops, services and dining options are found within this charming borough or along nearby Route 46. More extensive shopping needs can be met about 15 minutes away at large regional malls in Rockaway Township or Wayne.


A strong desire to preserve the integrity and architecture of Mountain Lakes has been noted by professional planners, who often refer to the borough as a unique American enclave.  Three early home models were called the Manor House, the Swiss Chalet and the Semi-Bungalow, and examples of these prototypes can still be seen on the winding streets.

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Public schools in Mountain Lakes include the Wildwood School for kindergarten through Grade 5; the Briarcliff School serving middle grades of 6 to 8; and the highly-rated Mountain Lakes High School. In 2008, the high school was named the 4th best public high school in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine. 


The borough is also home to the Craig School, a private day school for grades 3 to 12. Lake Drive School is a regional school for students with hearing disabilities. Numerous pre-schools are available in or close to Mountain Lakes.


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The serene environment of Mountain Lakes belies the fact that it is just minutes from a network of local and interstate roadways including Route 80, 287, 280, 46 and 202. New Jersey Transit serves the borough on the Montclair-Boonton line. The trip to Hoboken or New York’s Penn Station takes a little over an hour. Mountain Lakes is located about 25 miles from New York City and about 17 miles from Newark-Liberty International Airport.

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Real Estate

Many Hapgood homes survive in Mountain Lakes, and they are alternately referred to as Lakers. The community retains much of its character from an earlier century through its preservation efforts. Nearly 500 homes were built by Hapgood, and over 450 survive, making Mountain Lakes one of the largest Craftsman home communities in the country.


Stone pillars mark two entries to Mountain Lakes, revealing the borough’s gently rolling hills, forests, lakes and rocky outcrops. The original landscape architect for the community, Arthur Holton, emphasized the natural aesthetics of the area when planning roadways and lake locations. Homes and buildings were constructed using native boulderstone to build walls, lay foundations and create pillars. 


As homesites were being cleared in the early 1900s, local timber from felled trees was taken to saw mills to produce the massive ceiling beams, rich chestnut paneling and oak hardwood floors featured in the Hapgood homes. Stucco enhanced a great deal of the Foursquare-style residences, whose gracious facades are timeless in their simplicity.

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Local Attractions

Part of the Morris County Park System, the 547-acre Tourne County Park also falls within neighboring Denville and Boonton. Amenities such as trails for horseback riding, hiking and biking, and picnic and play areas are found here. A favorite hike to the top of a small mountain presents impressive views of the Rockaway Valley, and on a clear day, the Manhattan skyline.


Historic sites include the wood frame Grimes household at 4 Craven Road, a circa 1733 home thought to be a link in the Underground Railroad. Although it is now privately owned, the 1732 Righter House on Pocono Road was once a tavern used by those traveling between Rockaway and Parsippany. It is the oldest dwelling in Mountain Lakes.


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