The Bernards Township in Somerset County is a 24-square-mile, semi-rural location where one can find classy and well-maintained old homes at a great value. Being a 45-minute drive away from the New York metropolis, this area is highly desired by those who work in the big city and want to come home to the peace and quiet of the suburbs. Bernards has a population of approximately 26,600, based on 2010 data.
Bernards gets its name from Sir Francis Bernard, 1st Baronet, the British administrator who functioned as governor of New Jersey and Massachusetts Bay during prior to the American Revolution. One of New Jersey’s original 104 townships, Bernards would later relinquish portions of its territory into what are today Warren Township and the boroughs of Far Hills and Bernardsville.
Basking Ridge is located in the Bernards Township. This sought-after unincorporated community is a popular neighborhood among professionals, families, and retirees because of its access to a nationally renowned school system and especially peaceful environs.
The headquarters of some of America’s and the world’s most notable brands and companies can be found in Bernards. The presence of prominent corporations and its proximity to the city make Bernards an attractive residential destination among well-to-do professionals.
Education is one of the Bernards Township’s best-selling points. The Bernards Township School District, serving kids at the pre-kindergarten to twelfth-grade levels, recorded an exceptional 12.6:1 student-teacher ratio in 2013-14. The district even includes a public program for the children with autism.
Ridge High School is a two-time recipient of the US Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence. The local secondary school also boasts an average SAT score of 1,746 and a 93% post-secondary enrollment rate.
Two other Bernards schools – Mount Prospect Elementary School and Liberty Corner School – are also recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools program.
Neighborhoods in this tranquil township mainly feature single-family houses, ranging from renovated and updated historic properties to Mid-Century colonials and Cape Cods, to more contemporary constructions. Condominium and townhouse complexes are additional options.
Some of the notable neighborhoods in Bernards are The Hills, a master-planned community located near the intersection of Routes 78 and 287, and Basking Ridge, a popular community for homebuyers of all ages.
Points of interest
The Brick Academy
Once the Basking Ridge Classical School, a prep school for aspiring Princeton scholars, the Brick Academy now hosts the Historical Society of the Somerset Hills.
Lord Stirling Park
Located along the Passaic River, this park presents various natural habitats, including wetland, field, and forest ecosystems. It’s a great hiking destination that introduces guests to Bernards’s abundant local flora and fauna. Visitors can also enjoy guided tours by horseback.
Pleasant Valley Park
A sportsman’s dream park, Pleasant Valley boasts basketball and tennis courts, baseball fields, an Olympic-sized pool, and gorgeous walking and biking paths. It’s a great destination for a family-friendly weekend too, with picnic areas and waterfall-styled play areas for kids.
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