Mountain Lakes is an upscale borough in Morris County, New Jersey, United States, and a suburb of New York City. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 4,160, reflecting a decline of 96 (-2.3%) from the 4,256 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 409 (+10.6%) from the 3,847 counted in the 1990 Census.
Originally a planned community, the borough was named for a pair of lakes which served to distinguish Mountain Lakes as "the first year-round residential lake community in northwestern New Jersey." Mountain Lakes was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 3, 1924, from portions of Boonton Township and Hanover Township, subject to the results of a referendum passed on April 29, 1924.
The borough is one of the state's highest-income communities. In the 2014-2018 ACS, Mountain Lakes had a median household income of $216,250, ranked highest in the state, more than double the statewide median of $79,363.
In 2010, Forbes.com listed Mountain Lakes as 210th in its listing of "America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes", with a median home price of $1,045,401.
Mountain Lakes ranked among the highest annual property tax bills in New Jersey, and highest in Morris County, in 2018 of $20,471, compared to a statewide average of $8,767. New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Mountain Lakes as the 26th best place to live in New Jersey in its rankings of the "New Jersey's Top Towns 2011-2012" in New Jersey.
Mountain Lakes station is the first train train station heading eastbound not concurrent with the nearby Morristown Line. NJ Transit offers service on the Montclair-Boonton Line.
Grimes Homestead is an 18th-century historic home that served as a way station on the Underground Railroad.
Mountain Lakes was originally a planned community, founded in 1910 by Herbert Hapgood. The entire face of the community changed from a wilderness of Dutch and English properties to a planned suburban community of large stucco houses now affectionately known as “Hapgoods.” During this single decade, the natural and architectural character of Mountain Lakes was developed. Hapgood was particularly influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, at the height of its popularity in 1910 when he started building.
The Hapgood model homes were early forerunners of the modern development, but each house was modified to suit individual tastes. To the basic styles of these houses, Hapgood added colonial and craftsman features. He reversed floor plans, and inter- changed architectural details.