Rolling hills and rich fertile farmland, dotted with mostly newer construction, comprise the landscape of the countryside town of Hillsborough. The township offers residents a peaceful, small- town atmosphere, but sits within commuting distance to Newark, New York, Trenton, or even Philadelphia. In Money magazine’s 2015 rankings, Hillsborough was ranked the 30th best place to live in the nation. There are plenty of reasons why Hillsborough is the perfect place to put down some roots.
Officially established by Royal charter in 1771, the town quickly made its name known during the American Revolution as the pathway that General George Washington and his troops marched along after their victory at the Battle of Princeton to their winter quarters in Morristown. Later, Hillsborough became the home of the Belle Mead GSA depot, which acted as a storage site for weapons and prisoners during World War II. For history buffs, Hillsborough’s rich past sets it apart from similar communities.
Although Hillsborough Township retains a serene, small-town atmosphere, there are plenty of attractions and activities to keep residents entertained. Hillsborough is home to Duke Gardens and Farms, a 2,700-acre estate that was originally owned by James “Buck” Duke. When the tobacco and electric energy tycoon passed on, the estate was given to his philanthropist daughter Doris Duke. Duke Gardens now contains one of the most significant glass house collections in the nation. Admission is free to the public, and the gardens regularly host nature walks, gardening classes, hiking, and family programs.
For those seeking a more challenging outdoor adventure, the Sourland Mountain Preserve provides ample recreational opportunities in an untouched and natural setting. Visitors can hike, bird watch, mountain bike, boulder, or horseback ride through more than 4,000 undisturbed acres of wilderness. The ecological preserve is the central habitat for a wide array of local flora and fauna species as well.
One of the most significant reasons that Hillsborough has been ranked as such a superb place to live is the township’s excellent educational system. The following Public schools are open to children in grades K-12: Amsterdam Elementary School, Hillsborough Elementary School, Sunnymead Elementary School, Triangle Elementary School, Woodfern Elementary School, Woods Road Elementary School, Hillsborough Middle School, Auten Road Intermediate School, and Hillsborough High School, whose test scores far exceed the national average.
Hillsborough Township is home to just over 39,000 residents. The town has grown by nearly 35 percent since 2000. The average household size is 2.82, while the median household income is $105,429. At less than half the national average, the neighborhood also boasts an extremely low crime rate. Another distinctive characteristic that demonstrates Hillsborough’s stellar quality of life is its low residential turnover rate (14.3%).