Located in the rolling hills of northern Somerset County, The Borough of Far Hills is a small town encompassing just five square miles with just under 1,000 residents and is surrounded by the other upscale communities of Bedminster Township, Peapack-Gladstone, Bernards Township, and Bernardsville, collectively referred to as “Somerset Hills”. Far Hills shares a public library, athletic programs, a community pool and various civic organizations with Bernardsville. It also shares a first aid squad and fire department with neighboring Bedminster Township. The Borough is also part of the Somerset Hills School District which includes students from Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone and Bedminster and is considered to be one of the best districts in the state.
The Far Hills train station is a New Jersey Transit station on the Gladstone Branch of the Morris & Essex Line; the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The station is located at U.S. Route 202, near the intersection of Far Hills Road, one half mile east of U.S. Route 206. The station offers service via Secaucus Junction and New York Penn Station or to Hoboken Terminal. The trip to NYC is 80 minutes and there is also a bus shuttle service out of Bernardsville to Port Authority serviced by the Lakeland Bus Company. Additionally, Newark Liberty International Airport is about a half hour away, providing quick and accessible flights both domestically and internationally. Commuting by car is also convenient with major highways like Routes 287, 78, 206 and 202 all nearby.
Far Hills maintains the characteristic of its community through 10-acre minimum zoning laws whereby large private properties and homes surround a small village which was the creation of a wealthy New York businessman in the late 1800’s. The beginning of rail service to nearby Bernardsville in 1870, opened the area to city people seeking a respite from the heat and hurry of urban life.
Anticipating the demand for country properties was Evander H. Schley, a land developer and real estate broker from New York State. He bought several thousand acres of farmland, some of it sight unseen, in Bedminster and Bernards Townships in the 1880s. One day in 1887, Schley’s brother, Grant, and his wife, Elizabeth, arrived by horse-drawn carriage to see Evander’s farms. Elizabeth is said to have remarked on the beautiful vista of the “far hills,” thus giving the name to the place before a village was built.
There is a small retail district, which includes The Far Hills Mall consisting of the usual businesses found in a small town such as a post office, bank, barber shop, butcher, tailor, beauty salon, spa, dance studio, restaurant, specialty shops and boutiques, etc…
The town also draws attention far and wide for some of its more well known community events. The Far Hills Race Meeting currently offers some of the richest purses in America and is host of the Breeders’ Cup steeplechase, the most prestigious race in American steeplechasing. Held annually at the height of the fall foliage season in late October, this event has been in existence for the past 90 years. Race day purses can equal up to or more than $1,000,000, with six races offering the highest purses on the National Steeplechase Association circuit. Considered one of the premier social events of the year in the tri-state area, it is attended by as many as 50,000 people annually. Family and friends create unique and often extravagant fall picnic areas, complete with beautiful floral center pieces, haybale seating, ice carvings and culinary feasts. For many visitors, the Race Meeting is a time-honored tradition and a joyous reunion of family and friends.
Additionally, the Somerset Medical Center, in conjunction with the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) presents New Jersey’s largest and oldest bi-annual Rummage Sale held each Spring and Fall at the Fairgrounds in Far Hills. As a major fundraiser for the VNA, 100% of the proceeds support the VNA’s programs and enable the VNA to care for those who are uninsured or underinsured. Spread out over 75,000 square feet, this sale is incredible and includes everything from clothing, appliances, antiques, sporting goods, furniture, dishes, books…you name it and you’ll find it there.
Other highlights of the town include:
- The beautiful 500 acre county owned property Natirar, which spans parts of neighboring Peapack-Gladstone, Bedminster and Far Hills and takes its name from the North Branch of the Raritan (spelled backwards) River that runs through the estate. It was once home to the King of Morocco and is now dedicated Open Space and houses Richard Branson’s recently opened gourmet hilltop culinary center – Ninety Acres. A high-end spa is planned on the property in the coming years.
- The Leonard J. Buck Garden, a 33 acre public botanical garden operated by the Somerset County Park Commission is one of the premier rock gardens in the United States. It features native and exotic plants displayed in a naturalistic setting of woodland, streams, and rock outcroppings. A wooded, rocky ravine is home to numerous wildflowers interspersed among flowering trees and shrubs. Its peak visiting time is in the spring.
- Music at Moorland – A magical evening of open-air dining, classical music and spectacular fireworks on the lawn of Moorland Farms in Far Hills is a much anticipated event for young and old alike. Held every year towards the end of June this event offers a wide array of entertainment opportunities for everyone—from corporate tent parties held on the hilltop overlooking spectacular Moorland Farms to casual picnics with friends and families on the lawn. This event is sponsored by a leading pharmaceutical company headquartered in the area for the sole benefit of the Somerset Medical Center.
- The United States Golf Association is headquartered in Far Hills. The USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History is located on the premises in a beautifully restored Georgian Mansion and houses one of the largest and most extensive collections of golf memorabilia in the world. Truly one of the best kept secrets of Far Hills and Somerset County.
Finding Homes For Sale in Far Hills
Known for its affluence, scenic beauty, sprawling hills and endless countryside, Far Hills offers a tranquil, relaxing and somewhat more rural feeling than the surrounding towns of Bernardsville, Basking Ridge, and Bedminster. The town is probably most known for its magnificent and well-kept estates, which have historically served as second homes for many of the rich and influential. A beautiful lake runs on the outside of the community, and many traditional Center Hall Colonials, antique farmhouses, Victorians, Georgian, and Contemporary estates sit on landscaped lots throughout the town. In addition, more modest but equally charming homes are closer to the center of town, as well as an upscale Townhouse community, The Polo Club, whose close proximity to the train station makes it ideal for New York commuters.
As you can see, Far Hills has something to fit everyone’s needs. Call me direct at (908) 267-2465, or email me at Bob@BobZorechakRealtor.com and I will be happy to discuss your specific requirements and find the right home for you.
For listings in Far Hills or anywhere in Somerset, Morris or parts of Hunterdon County simply use the search tools located on the right side of this page. All listings are updated throughout the day so be sure to come back often for the most current information. If you are unable to find what you are looking for using the search functions on this website, or you are looking for a home that is unique with specific features, feel free to contact me direct and let me know exactly what they are. My colleagues and I preview all kinds of properties each week and will be sure to identify just what you are looking for. In addition, my office often features “exclusive” listings that are not released to the public that might be of interest to you as well. I will be glad to answer all of your questions and arrange to show you the homes of your choice at a time convenient to your schedule.
I also serve the surrounding towns in northern Somerset County as well as select towns in Morris County including Morristown, Morris Township, Madison, the Chathams, the Mendhams, the Chesters and Long Valley (Washington Township) along with the Hunterdon County towns of Lebanon and Tewksbury Townships.
Far Hills NJ Schools:
Students in grades K–12 attend the schools of the Somerset Hills Regional School District, a regional school district serving students from Bernardsville, Far Hills, and Peapack-Gladstone, along with those from Bedminster Township who attend the district’s high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship.
The three schools in the district are Bedwell Elementary School (K-4, 692 students), Bernardsville Middle School (5-8, 554 students) and Bernards High School (9-12, 759 students), and are all located in Bernardsville. Many of the high school students travel to school using the train that links the towns together.
Far Hills NJ Public School Links:
Follow this Far Hills NJ School Info link for more detailed information about each school in Far Hills NJ, including nearby private school information.