Manhattan is a 30-minute ferry ride from Highlands, which boasts Twin Lights Historic Site near its southern end and to the north, just across the boundary into Atlantic Highlands, Mount Mitchill Scenic Overlook.
Location: Highlands is bounded by Sandy Hook Bay to the north, the Shrewsbury River to the east, Monmouth County's Hartshorne Woods Park to the south and Atlantic Highlands to the west.
Size: 0.64 square miles
Population: 5,214 (2000 Census)
From 1525, when Giovanni de Verrazano first came to explore the area, through the 1 7th and 1 8th Century Dutch and English settlers, and up to the 20th Century, the first sight of land for the many hundreds of thousands of immigrants and visitors to our shores was the rugged and thickly wooded hills of the Highlands of Navesink. Rising majestically above the turbulent waters of the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers and Sandy Hook Bay, Mt. Mitchell, at 260 feet above sea level the highest point on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, has welcomed many of the most historic and legendary. figures in the development of America.
As a haven for many American Indian tribes; as the stopping place for such historical heroes as Verrazano, Estevan Gomez, Henry Hudson, Capt. Joshua Huddy, the Gloucester fishing fleets, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the infamous Rum Runners; as the setting for such legendary figures as Capt. William Kidd, and the bewitched "Water Witch" and "Lust in Rust" of James Fenimore Cooper's flowing imagination; and as a mecca for fishermen, bathers, hikers and artists, the hills of Highlands have stood towering in the fore front of the development of the New Jersey Shore.
The history of Highlands is as diverse as the varieties of trees, wild flowers, fishes and people that populate its woods, shore and waters - no area of the Jersey Shore has played so important an historic role, nor gone through as many changes as the little town of Highlands and the ever changing spit of land called Sandy Hook.
Situated just twenty-six miles from New York City, to which it is connected by land and water routes, Highlands today is a major attraction to fishermen, bathers and other lovers of the shore, and to those who delight in the very best of seafood dinners.
The docks and marinas of Highlands provide safe harbor for every type of craft imaginable, its restaurants are among the most famous on the shore, and the newly established Gateway National Recreation Area on Sandy Hook provides over thirteen miles of ocean and bay bathing for summer visitors.