Mountainside is a borough in Union County, New Jersey, United States. The borough is located on a ridge in northern-central New Jersey, within the Raritan Valley and Rahway Valley regions in the New York metropolitan area. With a modest downtown and several residential streets stretching up the southern slopes of the Watchung Reservation hills, this town of 6,685 residents can feel like a sudden detour into Vermont after you have left the busier neighboring towns of Westfield, Summit and Scotch Plains.
Mountainside has that idyllic town feel many families envision for the suburbs. When it snows in Mountainside, N.J., families often set off for the bunny hill in Echo Lake Park with their sleds and inflatable tubes. In the summer, they may spend their days at the community pool. And on Halloween, everyone heads to Old Tote Road, where children from various towns gather to trick-or-treat.
Mountainside, with its relatively low property taxes, is especially attractive. Mountainside has seen a good number of the split-levels, ranches and Cape Cods built between the 1940s and 1960s, many of which sit on half-acre lots, knocked down and replaced with larger homes.
Proximity to New York City/Commute
Mountainside is located about 25 miles west of Manhattan, with some homes in Mountainside offering views of New York City’s skyline.
Residents can catch New Jersey Transit trains in Summit or Westfield. The trip to New York’s Penn Station takes about 50 minutes. New Jersey Transit buses 114 and 114X provide service to Port Authority, picking up passengers on Route 22 at New Providence Road.
The 2,065-acre Watchung Reservation is a fundamental part of Mountainside, with residents taking advantage of its wooded hiking trails, riding stables, picnic grounds and the Trailside Nature and Science Center, a 4,500-square-foot interactive museum. The 147-acre Echo Lake Park, in the southeast corner of Mountainside, offers more recreation, including fishing and paddleboat rentals on the lake, a dog park, yoga classes and weekly concerts under the stars.
The town’s center on Mountain Avenue has limited retail, while the 2.7-mile stretch of Route 22 that juxtaposes Mountainside has seen the addition of several restaurants in the past few years.
Mountainside’s offices and light industrial presence are mainly restricted to an eastern section of the borough, and help to offset residential property taxes.
Mountainside has two public schools: Beechwood School, which serves 237 students from prekindergarten through second grade, and Deerfield Elementary School, serving 482 students in third through eighth grade. High school students attend Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, which enrolls 1,056 students from the two towns.
Mountainside students can also attend one of the Union County vocational/technical schools, specializing in the performing arts, information technology and health sciences.