Sky Farm, Basking Ridge, NJ
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first reached out to Sky Farm to schedule a visit. The language on their website makes it clear that they do not offer day passes – they are a membership club. Meaning, that after the first visit, you have to buy a membership should you wish to return. I filled out the inquiry form, and within a few hours, got a call back from a friendly human from the hospitality team. “The first visit is free. We’ll give you a tour of the place, then you can spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool.” OK, then! Off we go!
We were given frequent updates about the entry procedure, mostly by text message, then upon arrival, embarked upon a tour of the grounds with a friendly 30/40-something couple whose enthusiasm was truly infectious. Of the places we’ve visited on the east coast, we found the people here to be among the friendliest we’ve encountered at a nudist place, with a nice cross section of locals and regulars, many of whom work in NYC. It seems their recent social media campaign has paid off in spades, as they were nearing the point where they wouldn’t be able to accept any more applications for the 2020 season. Of the many naked places we’ve visited, we put this one near the top of the list of success stories.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE? While I’m guessing you could find your way here on public transportation, Sky Farm is located in the quasi-industrial suburbs of northern New Jersey, about an hour I’m told, from Manhattan. It’s only about four miles from the NJ Transit Lyons station, so I suppose an ambitious naturist could make that trek in about an hour on foot.
WHAT’S THE FAMILY VIBE? I think there were a couple kids around the day we were there on a mid-summer Saturday, but this was mainly an adult crowd, but…with a median age perhaps ten years younger than many other American naked places. There are other places in the region have much more of a party vibe, where as Sky Farm seems a bit more chill, drawing more clients who are happy snoozing and reading by the pool. My sense was that the regulars come most every weekend, and many own small cabins on the grounds, staying much of the week as well. Would I bring my kids here? Sure. But they’d have to be able to entertain themselves in the pool.
HOW ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS? There’s a modest dormitory, and several dozen cabins in the hilly, wooded area surrounding the clubhouse and the pool. It’s worth noting, however, that the permits procured to build those cabins, decades ago, did not include a provision for indoor plumbing, and thus there are public restrooms located throughout the park. (The one near the pool complex had recently been remodeled and was very nice!) There was a small area for tent camping, but little or no space for RVs, which helps the place retain a pleasant “cabin retreat in the woods” feel. Each cabin has it’s own character, many with large decks and screened porches. Charming, for sure, despite the quirky plumbing situation.
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW? As I said in my original blog post, (See link below) if we had been looking for a place to put down roots to make our naturist weekend hideaway, this would have been a very strong candidate, despite the fact that it’s well over two hours from our home. The calm atmosphere, the friendly people, and the general upkeep of the grounds sets this apart from most other naturist places we’ve visited in the US. I wish we could have looked around a bit more, but the membership committee asks that you remain near the pool area during your initial visit in the spirit of not disturbing the residents who aren’t so keen on strangers wandering around “their neighborhood. That checks out, though it felt a bit restrictive. But it also occurred to us that if you want to have a nice place, the community standards will be an important part of the corresponding managerial approach. Clearly, whatever they’re doing is working!
Images courtesy of Sky Farm