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How Hartshorne Woods’ Scenic Views Impact Property Values

Lake View

Have you ever browsed real estate listings and noticed homes boasting “stunning panoramic views” listed at a premium? It’s no coincidence. Studies have consistently shown a positive correlation between scenic beauty and property values. People are willing to pay more for a home that offers a breathtaking vista, a glimpse of nature’s majesty right outside their window.

But what if you’re not lucky enough to live near a mountain range or a sparkling coastline? Fear not, nature lovers! Today, we’re setting our sights on a hidden gem: Hartshorne Woods Park in Monmouth County, New Jersey. This park is a refreshing oasis, surrounded by some of the most desirable communities in the state and within easy reach of major cities in Central New Jersey as well as Staten Island in New York City.

With its hilly terrain, scenic overlooks of the Navesink River, and a rich tapestry of history, Hartshorne Woods isn’t just good for your soul; it could be a potential boon for your home’s value too. Let’s delve into the many benefits that Hartshorne Woods provides.


Nestled in Northern Monmouth County, New Jersey, in the picturesque Bayshore Region, Hartshorne Woods Park spans an impressive 736 acres. The park is strategically positioned along the banks of the Navesink River, and has one of the highest elevations along the Atlantic Coast. This scenic area is a beloved destination for local hikers, bicyclists, and outdoor enthusiasts who seek an escape from the everyday grind.

Historical Significance

The park’s history is as rich as its natural landscapes. It was named after Richard Hartshorne, an English Quaker from London who settled in the area in 1669, and acquired an extensive land parcel of more than 2,300 acres, including the area now occupied by the park.

By the early 1880s, portions of the land were sold to private individuals and the U.S. government, though significant portions remained under the Hartshorne family’s ownership for generations. The park itself has deep military roots – it was prominently featured as a coastal defense site, adding a layer of historical intrigue to the lush woodlands. The first 660 acres were acquired by the Park System in 1974, with more land including the 44-acre Claypit Creek section added in 2005, bringing it to its current size.

Natural and Recreational Attractions

Horse Riding

Hartshorne Woods Park offers an array of natural and recreational features that cater to a diverse range of interests and activities. With 16 miles of challenging trails, the park is a haven for walking, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. These trails wind through hilly, forested landscapes, offering not only rigorous exercise but also stunning scenic views that overlook the river and surrounding areas.

For those interested in history, several old military bunkers are scattered throughout the park, serving as silent reminders of the area’s past defensive roles. Additionally, the park features cabins for group camping, cross-country ski trails during the winter months, and a quaint beach area complete with a fishing pier.

Accessibility and Layout

Hartshorne Woods Park is bordered to the north and west by Navesink Avenue and Route 36, with Hartshorne Road and the Navesink River marking its southern edge. On the east, it is bordered by the Upper Shrewsbury River. The park is divided into three main sections: Buttermilk Valley, Monmouth Hills, and Rocky Point, each offering unique landscapes and activities.


Hartshorne Woods Park

Step into Hartshorne Woods Park, and you’ll be transported to a wonderland of towering trees, winding trails, and breathtaking vistas. Here’s a glimpse into the visual delights that await you within this unique county park:

  • Canopy Majesty: Imagine sunlight dappling through a dense canopy of mature oak, beech, and tulip trees. The air carries the sweet scent of wildflowers, and the rustling leaves create a symphony that soothes the soul. These towering giants create a cathedral-like atmosphere, a natural escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  • Dramatic Relief: Hartshorne Woods Park isn’t flat. It boasts rolling hills and dramatic changes in elevation, offering a sense of adventure and a photographer’s delight. As you traverse the winding trails, the landscape unfolds before you, revealing hidden valleys and unexpected glimpses of the sky.
  • Riverine Vistas: The jewel in the crown of Hartshorne Woods’ scenic beauty is undoubtedly the Navesink River. Strategic overlooks allow you to soak in the soothing tranquility of flowing waters, their surface reflecting the ever-changing colors of the sky. Imagine catching a sunrise over the water, the scene painted in hues of gold and pink, or witnessing a vibrant sunset casting long shadows across the riverbank.
  • A Glimpse into History: Beyond its natural allure, Hartshorne Woods holds a storied past as a former coastal defense site, lending an air of intrigue to the rugged terrain. As you wander through the forested pathways, remnants of historic structures including several old World War II military bunkers serve as reminders of the park’s significance in regional history. From old fortifications to weathered relics, every corner of Hartshorne Woods resonates with echoes of bygone eras, inviting visitors to embark on a journey through time.
  • A Tapestry of Seasons: Hartshorne Woods transforms itself with each passing season. Spring brings a vibrant explosion of wildflowers, painting the forest floor in a kaleidoscope of colors. Summer offers a lush green escape, perfect for a picnic under the shade of a majestic oak. Fall ignites the woods with fiery hues of red, orange, and yellow, creating a breathtaking spectacle. Winter transforms the landscape into a wonderland of frosted branches and sparkling snow, offering a serene and peaceful escape.
  • Beach Escape: Nestled within the park’s embrace, you’ll find a small secluded beach area with a fishing pier. This unexpected delight offers the chance to cast a line, soak up the sun, or simply enjoy the calming rhythm of the waves lapping against the shore.

These are just a few of the scenic wonders that await you at Hartshorne Woods. The park’s unique topography, diverse flora, and stunning river views combine to create a truly captivating experience. It’s a place to escape the ordinary, reconnect with nature, and capture memories that will last a lifetime.


The stunning landscapes of Hartshorne Woods aren’t just pleasing to the eye; they can also be a smart financial decision, especially for homeowners. Research consistently shows a clear link between scenic parks and property values. People are demonstrably willing to pay more for a home that offers a daily dose of natural beauty, tranquility, and recreation.

Data backs the link between scenic views and property values. A 2022 study conducted by American Home Shield across the United States revealed the following findings:

  • A waterfront view adds an average of 78.1% to home values
  • Nature views add an average of 44.2% to home values
  • City views add an average of 6% to home values

In this article, playground equipment manufacturer Playworld cited studies indicating that values of homes with nearby parks can increase by 8% to 20%, citing the many positive effects of living close to green spaces such as enhanced quality of life and the convenience of not having to travel far to enjoy the outdoors.

This literature review published by ResearchGate shows the following:

This 2005 study published by Routledge indicates that property values within close proximity to parks and open spaces can enjoy an approximate premium of up to 20% due to the perceived and known benefits of living close to these spaces.


Closer to home, recent sales data for the area surrounding Hartshorne Woods reveals a trend. Properties with clear views of the park or river tend to sell faster and at a higher price per square foot compared to similar properties without such views. This data reinforces the notion that Hartshorne Woods’ scenic beauty translates to a significant financial advantage for homeowners.

The scenic beauty and tranquil surroundings of Hartshorne Woods Park are not just a boon for nature lovers. They also enhance the desirability and value of nearby communities. Benefiting from their proximity to the park, these communities offer residents not just a home, but a lifestyle enriched by natural beauty and outdoor recreation.

Atlantic Highlands

Just northeast of Hartshorne Woods Park, Atlantic Highlands sits atop the highest point on the eastern seaboard south of Maine. This unique geographic feature provides some homes with breathtaking views of the New York City skyline and Sandy Hook Bay. The real estate market here has seen robust growth, with home prices appreciating significantly over the last five years. The Zillow Home Values Index shows home values in Atlantic Highlands increasing from around $473,092 five years ago to $694,189 in March, 2024, illustrating the area’s desirability.


Directly north of Hartshorne Woods, Highlands is a small, vibrant community known for its seafood restaurants and marinas. With direct ferry access to Manhattan, it appeals to commuters looking for a tranquil and scenic bedroom community. Highlands has also experienced a rise in real estate values, particularly as more people seek homes with convenient outdoor access. According to the Zillow Home Values Index, the average property value in Highlands as of March, 2024 was $513,219, up from $305,682 five years ago.


To the west of Hartshorne Woods, Navesink is an upscale residential area characterized by spacious homes and mature, tree-lined streets. This community has seen consistent growth in property values due to its serene environment and strong local schools. According to Redfin, the median home price in the neighborhood as of March, 2024 was $667,000, up 21.3% from March, 2023.


Located south of Hartshorne Woods, Locust, part of Middletown Township, features a mix of rural charm and upscale living. This area is known for its large estates and equestrian facilities, offering a country lifestyle just less than an hour from the Jersey Shore. Real estate prices in Locust have been on an upward trajectory, showing significant appreciation. Based on data, the median home price as of March, 2024 was $2,302,000, up by over 35% from May, 2021.


Hartshorne Woods isn’t just a scenic wonder; it’s a cornerstone of the community. Living near Hartshorne Woods shapes community perception and unlocks a world of lifestyle advantages, which translate into enhanced home values:

  • A Badge of Honor: Residing near Hartshorne Woods is often seen as a badge of honor. The park’s natural beauty becomes an extension of one’s own backyard, a source of pride and a talking point amongst neighbors. It’s a way to connect with fellow residents who share an appreciation for the outdoors.
  • A Gateway to Nature: Living near Hartshorne Woods gives residents immediate access to nature’s restorative power, minimizing the need to travel to enjoy the outdoors. Whether it’s a quick morning walk under the canopy of trees or an afternoon picnic overlooking the river, the park provides a convenient way to de-stress and reconnect with the natural world.
  • Active Lifestyle: The diverse trails within Hartshorne Woods cater to a variety of fitness levels. Hikers can explore challenging inclines, while bikers can enjoy scenic loops. The park also offers opportunities for birdwatching, nature photography, and even horseback riding in designated areas. This easy access to outdoor activities fosters a healthy and active lifestyle within the community.
  • Sense of Community: Hartshorne Woods Park becomes a natural gathering place. Residents might bump into neighbors while walking their dogs, participate in community organized hikes, or simply enjoy a quiet moment reading a book on a park bench. This shared appreciation for the outdoors fosters a sense of community and belonging.



Living near Hartshorne Woods also offers potential long-term financial gains. In addition to appreciating values, homeowners can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Sustainable Investment: While views can be obstructed by future development, Hartshorne Woods enjoys a level of protection. The park’s status as a designated green space ensures the scenic beauty will likely remain a constant. This adds a layer of security to your investment.
  • Location, Location, Location: Hartshorne Woods offers the best of both worlds: stunning scenery and convenient access to urban amenities. The park is close to major towns and cities, ensuring your investment remains attractive to a broad range of potential buyers who desire a blend of nature and city life.

    While the breathtaking views of Hartshorne Woods are undeniably appealing, the favorable location also caters to the everyday needs of residents. Easy access to work, schools, and essential services is crucial for long-term satisfaction.


Hartshorne Woods’ beauty is a gift, but like all gifts, it requires careful stewardship. Preserving the park’s scenic vistas is not just about aesthetics; it’s also about protecting the long-term value of the surrounding community.

Here’s why safeguarding the park’s visual beauty is crucial:

  • Maintaining the Appeal: Uncontrolled development around Hartshorne Woods could threaten the very thing that makes it so special. High-rise buildings or poorly planned construction projects could obstruct the breathtaking views and disrupt the park’s natural serenity.
  • Economic Impact: The scenic beauty of Hartshorne Woods contributes significantly to the economic well-being of the community. As discussed earlier, homes near the park tend to command a premium. Unrestricted development that compromises the visual appeal could negatively impact property values.
  • Protecting the Legacy: Hartshorne Woods is a historical and ecological treasure. Preserving its scenic vistas ensures that future generations can experience its natural beauty and appreciate the rich tapestry of history it represents.

Hartshorne Woods is managed and protected by the Monmouth County Park System, with the help and support of nonprofits such as Monmouth County Friends of the Parks. The county park system continuously undertakes various conservation projects to maintain the area. Recent efforts include:

  • Invasive plant management and habitat improvement of the Claypit Trail Run
  • Invasive plant management and habitat improvement of the Grand Tour Trail
  • Required registration for anglers age 16 and up
  • Four year restoration of Battery Lewis


Hartshorne Woods isn’t just a scenic escape; it’s a potential gateway to a more fulfilling and valuable lifestyle. The park’s captivating beauty and breathtaking vistas provides a potential boost to your property’s value.

If you’re considering homes for sale near Hartshorne Woods, connect with someone who truly understands the local market. Mario Venancio isn’t just any real estate agent; he’s the top performer in New Jersey for the last five years running, and the #1 Agent in Monmouth County for thirteen consecutive years. With a robust social media presence and a keen insight into the area’s best properties, Mario offers an unmatched expertise and a personalized approach to finding your dream home.

Discover the benefits of living near Hartshorne Woods and let Mario help you find the perfect home that meets all your needs.

Call Mario Venancio today at 732.881.4306 or email him here for expert advice and top-tier service.

HP Work With Mario

Work With Mario

If you’ve always dreamed of tranquil suburban living close to the ocean and close enough to the greatest city in the world, New York, Rumson, NJ is for you. Let a local real estate expert like Mario Venancio help you fulfill your real estate goals. Contact Mario at 732.881.4306 or send him a message here.

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