PHOTO COURTESY OF CINDY MIRONOVICH
New Jersey's Best Towns For Families 2017 Sussex County
Average Home Price: $410,276
Located 48 miles from New York City, Sparta is a New Jersey gem. Situated in the Highlands, its rolling hills, wooded areas and 22 lakes provide a spectacular backdrop. Sparta’s largest lake, Lake Mohawk, was developed in 1926 when summer homes consisted of Bavarian-style log cabins and rustic cottages.
Today, Sparta’s many neighborhoods are nestled on quaint streets and cul-de-sacs. Newer, larger homes occupy one-acre lots. Sparta’s prestigious Manitou Island homes have impressive square footage and stately curbside appeal. cul-de-sacs. Newer, larger homes occupy one-acre lots. Sparta’s prestigious Manitou Island homes have impressive square footage and stately curbside appeal.
Megan Gibbons returned to her hometown with husband David in 2011 to raise their two sons, Rylan, 10, and Cormac, 8. A 1993 graduate of Sparta High School, her sons now attend the same schools she did. “My children are fortunate to receive an excellent education but also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities,” she says.
Sparta has its own bowling alley, movie theater, golf club and free summer concerts. “I have wonderful memories growing up in this town and wanted a similar experience for my children,” says Gibbons.
White Deer Plaza and boardwalk is a charming hub for residents and visitors. Spectacular lake views, boating, restaurants, boutique shops, an old-fashioned candy store and ice cream parlor conjure up images of simpler times. “Sparta successfully combines a small-town atmosphere with the amenities and opportunities of a larger town.”
The Sparta Glen Park is among the many parks and sports fields. Nestled in a narrow ravine with a cascading stream, its hiking trails lead to amazing views. Says Gibbons: “I never fail to see a friendly face when I’m out and have always admired the pride people show in our town.” -- by Lori Price