Chester Township is located in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. It is known as the “doughnut” around Chester Borough since it completely surrounds it, making it part of 21 pairs of “doughnut towns” in the state, where one municipality entirely surrounds another. The township’s name is derived from Chestershire in England.
As of the 2020 US Census Bureau, the population of Chester Township NJ is estimated to be 7,713 people. A year after, the total population slightly decreased to 7,709 accounting for 0.05%.
|Two or more races||1.46%|
Chester Township has a rich and intriguing history that dates back to the 1700s. The first settlers arrived in the area via Indian trails, and the township was initially known as “Black River”, which was named after a point where two Lenape Native American trails crossed. Later, it was renamed Chester, after Chester, England, which was the ancestral home of many of the residents of Black River.
On April 1, 1799, Chester Township was officially created from portions of Roxbury Township and Washington Township, following a local referendum that saw the consolidation of these regions into one cohesive township.
Quality of Life
Chester Township boasts a low crime rate, excellent schools, and a strong sense of community. The area is home to several parks and recreational areas, including Black River County Park, Hacklebarney State Park, and Chubb Park. There is also a diverse range of shopping and dining options in the area that residents can enjoy anytime!
Chester Township has been ranked #3 among New Jersey’s Best Suburbs to Live in, and #7 in the Best Places to Live in New Jersey. These rankings give due consideration to crucial socioeconomic factors such as local school quality, crime rates, housing trends, employment statistics, and access to a range of basic amenities. Chester Township has also received an A+ rating for Public Schools, Good for Families, and Health & Fitness.
Chester Township NJ is home to several healthcare facilities, including the Chester Urgent Care Center and the Chester Medical Arts Building. There are also several hospitals and medical centers located within a short drive of the township, including Morristown Medical Center and Saint Clare’s Hospital.
The Chester School District serves students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grades from Chester Borough and Chester Township. During the 2020-2021 school year, the district had 1,047 students and 106 classroom teachers, resulting in a student-to-teacher ratio of 9.9:1.
Students in public school for ninth through twelfth grades in both communities attend West Morris Mendham High School, which serves students from the surrounding Morris County school districts of Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mendham Borough, and Mendham Township. The high school is part of the West Morris Regional High School District, which also serves students from Washington Township, who attend West Morris Central High School.
Chester Township is a rural community that does not have a public transportation system within its borders. Nonetheless, residents and visitors have several travel options which include NJ TRANSIT which operates buses and trains that serve nearby towns such as Morristown, Dover, Gladstone, and Peapack.
NJ TRANSIT also provides connections to New York City, Newark, Trenton, and other destinations in New Jersey and beyond. Another option is to use Morris County Metro, which is a demand-responsive transportation service for senior citizens and people with disabilities who live in Morris County.
Morris County Metro offers transportation for residents in need of medical appointments, social events, shopping, and other county travel. Ride-sharing services are also available, such as Uber or Lyft, enabling seamless, convenient transportation via a nearby driver accessible through a smartphone app.
Points of Interest
Chester Township is a rural community that has many points of interest for visitors and residents alike. Some of them are:
Hacklebarney State Park. In this scenic park, you can indulge in hikes, fishing sessions, or picnics while also getting the chance to glimpse at various wildlife species like deer, foxes, hawks, and trout. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Black River and its waterfalls while experiencing nature up close.
Cross Estate Gardens. A historic property that features a 1905 mansion and a series of gardens that showcase different styles and plants. The gardens include a wisteria-covered pergola, a native plant garden, a formal perennial garden, and a mountain laurel allee.
Chester Historical Society Museum. A museum that preserves and displays the history and culture of Chester Township and Chester Borough. The museum showcases the history and culture of Chester Township through artifacts, photographs, documents, and memorabilia.
Alstede Farms. A family-owned farm that offers a variety of activities and products for all seasons. The farm has a store, a bakery, a cider mill, a winery, and an ice cream stand. The farm also hosts events such as hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, strawberry festivals, and Christmas tree cutting.
Cooper Gristmill. A restored 19th-century water-powered gristmill that demonstrates how grain was ground into flour and meal in the past. The mill has a four-story stone building, a wooden waterwheel, and original machinery. The mill also has a gift shop and a picnic area.