About the Township
Beautiful Jefferson Township is nestled deep in the northwest corner of Morris County, New Jersey. This countryside town is just minutes off of Route 80 and located less than an hour from New York City.
Jefferson Township was formed as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 11, 1804. Due to its terrain, the township has two large developed sections, Milton/Oak Ridge and Lake Hopatcong. Each half has its own first aid squad, fire department substation, and set of elementary schools.
Form of Government
Jefferson Township is governed under a Mayor-Council system of municipal government under the Faulkner Act. The government consists of a Mayor who oversees the day to day administration of government and a five-member Township Council whose members serve as the governing body. Both Mayor and Council members are elected at-large in partisan elections to serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with either three council seats or two council seats and the mayoral seat coming up for election every other year as part of the November general election.
All positioned geographically at the boundary between the two sections of the township are:
- High School
- The Jefferson Township Municipal Building, Recycling Center & Public Works Garage
- Middle School
- Recycling Center
The Health Center is located on Minnisink Road and Camp Jefferson/Recreation Offices on Weldon Road near Route 15.
Jefferson Township encompasses approximately 42 square miles, 70% of its land is forest and undeveloped in the Highlands Region and contains many privates lake communities throughout its borders. The Township contains Mahlon Dickerson Reservation, the largest park in Morris County Park System, encompasses 3,200 acres of near wilderness and recreational areas, with over 20 miles of multi-use trails, located along Weldon Road in the township. One of the Reservation's outstanding features is Headley Overlook, one of the highest points in the Morris County Park System along with the County-owned Berkshire Valley Golf course. Along the Pine Swamp trail, the highest point in Morris County, at 1395 feet, can also be found.
Jefferson Township also contains the most shoreline of New Jersey’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Hopatcong within its borders.
The Jefferson Township Public School system is administered by the Jefferson Township Board of Education and not affiliated with the Township Government. There are 5 elementary schools, White Rock (3-5), Stanlick (3-5), Cozy Lake (1-2), Milton (K) & Briggs schools (K-2), one middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12). The school administration building is located on Route 181.
Jefferson Township has a population of 20,538 based on the 2020 Census and has many communities within its borders, which include:
- Berkshire Ridge
- Berkshire Valley
- Colonial Oaks
- Cozy Lake
- Dawns Mist
- East Shores
- The Fairways
- Halsey Island
- Lake Forest
- Lake Hopatcong
- Lake Shawnee
- Lake Stockholm
- Lake Swannanoa
- Lake Winona
- Longwood Lake
- Lower Longwood
- Milton/Oak Ridge
- Moosepac Pond
- Nolans Point
- The Peaks
- Pond Hollow
- Prospect Point
- Raccoon Island
- Waters Edge
- White Rock
All of these communities enjoy the resources with activities ranging from fishing and swimming to water skiing and boat racing. The Rockaway River’s source starts deep within Berkshire Valley giving local anglers a trout fishing experience. Nature abounds Jefferson with a vast population of wildlife and foliage. Beneath giant oaks and maples is a forest floor that is home to bears, deer, foxes and much more.
- Known as the "Year-Round Recreational Capital" Jefferson always has an outdoor activity going throughout the year.
- Every year, the weekend following Independence Day, the Township hosts ’Jefferson Fest’, a Jefferson Township Food Truck Festival, concert, and fireworks event. The Jefferson Education Foundation hosts an annual carnival in May
- Our Recreation Department hosts the annual fall festival and Tree Lighting with Santa and along with a private group hosts a "Haunted House" each year. Our Recreation Department also runs a summer day camp.
- Our Jefferson Arts Committee host summer concerts at the Town Gazebo and in cooperation with our Historical Society hosts its "Christmas in the Village"