Califon, NJ in Hunterdon County
“Living in Califon is like coming home to a vacation paradise every day.”
– Local Resident
Whether you are looking for a weekend of serenity, or a full time suburban retreat, you will be amazed by the pure air and charm of Califon. Perfectly frozen in time, this area of Hunterdon County has managed to retain much of its old-fashioned character, yet manifests a natural energy like non-other.
Califon is a Victorian-style enclave that feels like a Norman Rockwell painting while driving through town! Main Street is lined with an art gallery, mosaic shop, a market, hardware store, bookshop, spice shop and an antique shop. The quintessential Califon General Store is a town staple and the great daily specials at Rambo's bring people from far and wide! The town also features subtle touches of luxury and indulgence with a spa and fitness center.
Califon has a population of approximately 1,076, yet attracts many outdoor enthusiasts. The area buzzes with cyclists enjoying the Columbia Trail -- the state's longest jogging and biking trail. The trail is an abandoned rail line connecting Califon to nearby High Bridge to the South and north to points in Morris County.
Califon straddles the South Branch of the Raritan River. The Ken Lockwood Gorge, just down the river, is one of New Jersey’s premier trout fishing locales. The gorge is beautiful, has both wild and stocked fish, and is open year round. It is a well-known fly- fishing spot and was featured on the cover of an L. L. Bean catalog a few years ago.
Beautiful barns dot the countryside and there are a number of stables and riding clubs in the area to keep your finest horses.
At the center of Califon is the historic Main Street iron bridge spanning the South Branch of the Raritan River, which divides the borough. This bridge inspired the pivotal scene in “It’s A Wonderful Life” where Jimmy Stewart contemplated his fate.
Television producer, Merv Griffin, once owned a farm a few miles outside of Califon. When he created the game show Wheel of Fortune, he gave a nod to Califon when naming the show's production company - Califon Productions, Inc.
Califon schools are known for their small class sizes and the individual attention given to the students. The Califon Public School serves students for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Students in ninth through twelfth grades attend Voorhees Regional High School in Glen Gardner.
Just an hour down highway 78 from NYC’s Holland Tunnel, Califon is an easy commute by car for those who work for the many large technology and pharmaceutical companies along Interstate 78, like AT&T, Merck and Johnson & Johnson.
This is a great area for hot air balloon rides. Ascend into the sky, and take in the stunning views over the farmlands, apple orchards and pastures of northwest New Jersey. Tewksbury Balloons have been in business since 1972!
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is big in this region and there is a strong network of weekly pick-up/delivery of vegetables and fruit. There are many beautiful farms that aloe you to pick your own flowers and produce. These offer great family Fall activities activities. Check out Ort Farm and Melick Town Farm (who were just featured on channel 12!)
The Califon Island Park Playground has been a fixture in the community for over twenty years . It offer amenities such as picnicking, a gazebo, and other family related attractions that make it an ideal place for community gathering.
Voorhees State Park is located in nearby Lebanon Township. The 1,400 acres park is maintained by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.
The Christie Hoffman Farm Park is a 170-acre farm consisting of gently rolling hills, open fields, wetlands and wood trails. There are miles of hiking and horse riding trails, quiet areas for bird watching, hunting and slopes for sledding in the winter.