Nestled near the western boundary of scenic Bergen County, New Jersey, Franklin Lakes presents a sublime blend of rural tranquility and upscale suburban living. This picturesque town, located approximately 25 miles from the heart of Manhattan, is a desirable retreat for those seeking a balance between urban accessibility and the serenity of a more rural setting. Renowned for its sprawling estates set within a lush, verdant landscape, Franklin Lakes epitomizes the essence of luxury suburban living.
Below, we explore one of Bergen County's most celebrated enclaves with everything you need to know about moving to Franklin Lakes.
The Franklin Lakes lifestyle
Franklin Lakes has long been a magnet for discerning homebuyers drawn to its serene environment and prestigious reputation. Having recently celebrated its official centennial – the area's lineage, as Franklin Township dates to the pre-revolutionary era – the community's historical tapestry remains prevalent, helping shape the area's modern identity. Several homes are celebrated landmarks, including more than a dozen listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some date back to the mid-1700s.
More recent homesites — many of which are massive estates on three-acre plots — are woven into the area's pristine landscape, creating rural-suburban retreats that still maintain a close connection with the modern conveniences of major urban centers in New Jersey and New York.
The quality of life in Franklin Lakes is exceptionally high. Consistently ranked as one of New Jersey's most affluent, high-income communities, annual median household income exceeds well over $150,000 per year, and the homes more that match that social and economic status.
With its far western Bergen County location, commuters will find a few minutes of time added to their journey to and from Manhattan. The tradeoff, of course, is more than worth it when not office-bound, and those able to work remotely will find utter Franklin Lakes a truly blissful experience.
Neighborhoods to consider
Though Franklin Lakes doesn't feature neighborhoods in the traditional sense, the area's meandering streets regularly lead you into tucked-away enclaves and small clutches of homes, each forming a unique neighborly vibe. For new homeowners, there are a few places worthy of starting a home search, including:
Urban Farms: Considered Franklin Lakes' original property development, Urban Farm is a popular housing development known for its expansive properties and lush landscapes. Urban Farms is a premier choice for those seeking spacious, private estates. The neighborhood boasts custom-built homes that seamlessly blend into the natural surroundings.
Shadow Lake Estates: This area is synonymous with luxury waterfront living. Properties here often feature private docks and stunning views of Shadow Lake, appealing to those who value tranquility and exclusivity.
High Woods: This neighborhood, within the Urban Farms community, is characterized by its prestigious homes, often situated on large, meticulously landscaped lots. The architecture here ranges from Colonials and contemporary mansions to Georgian and Tudor Revival. There are several bespoke designs for more specific tastes, and the opportunity to build from spec is always available.
Shopping, dining and entertainment
By design, Franklin Lakes is predominantly a residential borough. With every homesite occupying between one- and three-acre plots, too much development would dampen the otherwise bucolic aesthetic. Three commercial areas — Urban Farms, Franklin Crossing, and Franklin Lakes Towne Square — fulfill essential shopping and dining needs. Fine dining and high-end boutique shopping are not far from your Franklin Lakes home, with the upscale Shops at Riverside 15 minutes away and the retail therapy destination of Paramus even closer.
For those new residents seeking out the Franklin Lakes social scene, the Indian Trail Club is an ideal landing spot. For over 60 years, the club has served the community's fete set, providing lakefront dining in the beautifully remodeled McBride House. The club also boasts a bar and grill room, lounge room, locker area, fitness facilities, an expansive tennis center with 20 courts, a swim complex with three pools and access to the 100-acre, spring-fed Franklin Lake.
Those who love the outdoors will find a special appreciation for Franklin Lakes. The community's semi-rural vibe is not a facade as its far western location places it within a 15-minute drive of more than 50,000 acres of preserves, state parks, open space, and over 250 miles of trails.
Large stretches of Franklin Lakes' nearly 10-square-mile footprint make it appear as though it is a continuous park. Designated a Tree City USA in 2010, the community prides itself on the abundance of shade trees that populate every neighborhood across the borough. Outdoor enthusiasts revel in the town's numerous parks and nature reserves, including:
The 120-acre Franklin Lakes Nature Preserve
is a serene recreational area with hiking and jogging trails, fishing, and seasonal boating on its 75-acre lake. Essentially serving as an extension of the preserve's open space, the park's 2.3-mile trail network ties directly into the 11.2-mile trail network of the adjacent 1,200-acre High Mountain Park Preserve in Wayne, NJ.
The 84-acre Parsons Pond Park
is a beautiful neighborhood park donated to the Franklin Lakes community in 2016. Walking paths, sports fields, and a small, fishable pond are standout park amenities.
A rich culture
Franklin Lakes isn't just about luxury homes; it's a community with a soul. The town's cultural vibrancy is reflected in various local events, including art shows and community gatherings. The Franklin Lakes Public Library is a point of civic pride. It often hosts events that range from author talks to educational workshops catering to the intellectual curiosity of its residents.
Additionally, the proximity to New York City allows easy access to world-renowned museums, Broadway shows, and other cultural landmarks, making it ideal for those who appreciate suburban peace and urban cultural offerings.
Franklin Lakes is also home to Becton Dickinson, a major medical technology firm that drives much of the borough's economy.
Education in Franklin Lakes is exemplary, with schools known for their academic excellence and holistic education approaches. The public schools in Franklin Lakes are among the top-rated in New Jersey — High Mountain Road School and Ramapo High School among them — offering a range of programs that cater to diverse learning needs. The town's commitment to education is evident in its well-funded schools, skilled educators, and active parental involvement, making it a highly desirable place for families.
Ready to discover your future Franklin Lakes home?
In Franklin Lakes, the merging of natural beauty, cultural richness, and luxurious living creates an unparalleled lifestyle experience. It's a community that often flies under the radar versus other Bergen County boroughs, but that's a primary reason residents cherish living here. For the luxury buyer or investor, Franklin Lakes in Bergen County is not just a choice of residence but a commitment to a lifestyle that epitomizes sophistication and tranquility.
If you're interested in finding your ideal sanctuary and building a beautiful life in pastoral Franklin Lakes, contact The Madison Group today
to begin your home-buying journey. Allow our team's years of experience and expertise to assist you in finding and securing the perfect luxury residence to start your new life in Franklin Lakes.