PHOTO COURTESY OF DONNA CANGELOSI
New Jersey's Best Towns For Families 2017 Passaic County Winner
Average Home Price: $443,762
When you think of Wayne, you probably think of William Paterson University or the massive Willowbrook Mall, both major landmarks of the sprawling 25-square-mile town in North Jersey. Of course, the shopping is a huge plus, but there’s more to this town than being home to one of the state’s largest malls.
There are so many benefits to this Passaic County township, particularly the relatively short New York City commute, minus the exorbitant property taxes of Bergen or Essex counties. And Wayne, which is only about 25 miles outside of Manhattan, has a variety of different lifestyles within its borders. That’s what drew Jennifer Baroan to the area a year and a half ago. “We picked Wayne based on the school system, family-friendly town and proximity to NYC,” she says. “We have very pretty parks with beautiful views, lakes and mountains and an amazing town pool and lake that most of us who belong refer to as the ‘country club’.”
Danae Maxwell has lived with her family in Wayne for eight years and echoes education as a huge plus. “I think the schools are the main reason Wayne is special,” adds Maxwell. “I also like all the community events at the library.”
It’s at the crossroads of major highways (Routes 46, 23 and 80), giving residents easy access to almost any part of the state. That may sound like a whole lot of traffic, but you can be in a completely different part of town within minutes, relaxing by a lake or hiking in High Mountain Park Preserve in the Watchung Mountains. This diversity is courtesy of small unincorporated communities, like Packanack Lake, Barbours Mills and Lower Preakness and more, that together make up the larger township.
Wayne has a rich history, too, including the Dey Mansion and Van Saun House that played pivotal roles as headquarters for George Washington and General Lafayette during the Revolutionary War. – by Angel Madison