Mountain Lakes was developed over a century ago, as a planned residential park, designed to embrace family and community life amid natural surroundings and a harmonious blend of residences and landscape. The Borough of Mountain Lakes celebrated its Centennial in 2011 with a year-long array of special events and programs. The celebration highlighted the community’s history, achievements and turning points, and the attributes that have made Mountain Lakes a distinguished community, including volunteerism, preservation, philanthropy, and the arts. In 2005, the special character of our town was recognized and honored with inclusion in the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
Today, more than 100 years since its founding, Mountain Lakes continues to attract residents with its charm and natural beauty and sustains them with a richly varied community life and an abundance of civic spirit and pride. After reading about the history of Mountain Lakes, you will understand how the early visions of Lewis Van Duyne, a land surveyor, and Herbert J. Hapgood, a Long Island developer, are still evident in Mountain Lakes.
Although the name “Mountain Lakes” was no doubt chosen for its rustic appeal, it aptly describes the predominant physical characteristics of the 3.2 square mile borough. The borough’s environment is a delicate and artful balance of human improvisation upon nature’s design. Acres of woodlands, both dedicated parkland and undeveloped borough-owned lots, abound throughout Mountain Lakes to provide shade, barriers to noise and a sense of spaciousness. Nine lakes, created from the numerous small springs and wetlands in the region, are nestled into the landscape and provide sweeping vistas for the enjoyment of natural beauty, as well as for the recreation for which the borough is well known.
Mountain Lakes’ earliest residents left two traditions that have continued to thrive through the years. The first, aided by the natural beauty of the lakes, woodlands and trails, is a love of sports and recreational pursuits. Mountain Lakes hosts a wide variety of individual and organized sporting and recreational opportunities. The second tradition is a sense of community participation and volunteerism, which is amply demonstrated by the wide variety of civic and cultural organizations that have flourished for years in the borough.
This sense of community naturally extends to the schools housed in Mountain Lakes. Schools and school activities are an important thread in the fabric of Mountain Lakes life. The excellent reputation of the public school system, consistently ranked among the top in the state, attracts many families to the borough. Nearby private and parochial schools broaden the array of available educational choices. Residents demonstrate their concern for education by strongly supporting school events and by volunteering hundreds of hours in the schools and at school related activities each year.
In addition to actively contributing to our many community organizations and schools, hundreds of Mountain Lakes residents volunteer their time and talents serving on borough committees, commissions, and advisory groups. The Borough Council of Mountain Lakes welcomes resident participation in community affairs. It’s a great way to get involved, stay informed, and contribute to the community.
Over the years, successive borough councils, with help from citizen advisory groups, have crafted regulations, ordinances, and procedures intended to ensure the health, safety, and quality of life for current Mountain Lakes residents and to preserve the unique character of the community for future generations.