New Jersey : Safety by City
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- Atlantic City
- East Orange
- Hamilton Township
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- Long Beach Island
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- New Brunswick
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- Seaside Heights
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- Upper Township & Ocean City
- West Orange
Boonton, New Jersey, is a historical town on the Rockaway River.
Its slogan is “Small Town.
Big Heart,” yet it’s just 35 miles from New York City.
The town has an incredible history that shaped industry, aviation, and slavery abolition.
In fact, you can’t even visit the original Boonton without going to the bottom of the nearby Boonton Reservoir.
It became the first chlorinated water supply in the country.
Boonton is a town neighboring Boonton Township.
They are separate entities, with the town having a historic district and the township being more rural and residential.
You’ll find this is common in New Jersey that there will be a town/city with a name and then a township with the same name.
The town/city and township are either border towns or one circles the other.
Main Street in Boonton is downright charming.
It is a long stretch of road with historic buildings, shops, and restaurants lining the way.
The age of the historic district shows, but don’t let that distract you from the elements within.
Boonton Falls is one of the best waterfalls you’ll see bordering a town and doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Whether you’re visiting for a day or just driving through, a stop at the falls will be well worth your time.
Warnings & Dangers in Boonton
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk on both Boontons. Crime rates are low, and there are a lot of family-friendly and safe places to explore.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
NJ Transit has a Boonton station. Taxis and rideshares are easy to find. Rental cars are readily available at airports or vendors in town. All options have a low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
Just three pickpockets or purse snatchings have been reported between both towns over the past five years. That's a low risk, but your smart safety precautions will keep the risk low.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
You'll need to treat this as a medium risk due to the potential for flooding, severe weather, hurricanes, nor'easters, and winter storms. It's as simple as staying weather aware and taking necessary precautions when bad weather is approaching.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
There's a low risk here, with just a handful of robberies each year, most of which are in private homes. A bank robbery has also been reported in the past few years.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
There's a low risk that Boonton would be a target, but any city this close to New York City should always be on alert. You can check the latest Terrorism Advisory Bulletin anytime on the Homeland Security website.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Scams here are mostly targeted at residents, so there's a low risk. However, don't let the charm of this town give you a false sense of safety. Avoid panhandlers or anyone promising a deal that seems too good to be true.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Nothing in the crime data suggests women are at any greater risk than men when visiting Boonton. The risk is low, but use all the standard precautions you would as a tourist in any city.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows two violations. One was a reporting error, and the other was connected to turbidity, which doesn't have any adverse health effects on its own. It's more important to check local media and government websites when you visit to see if there are boil orders or flooding impacts on tap water. If you're staying at an older hotel or home, let the tap water run for two minutes to clean out any debris from the stagnant faucet.
Safest Places to Visit in Boonton
MorrisTourism.org is the official tourism website for Morris County, which includes Boonton and Boonton Township.
You can download a free visitor’s guide with one click, and no personal information is required.
Learn more about the historic district at BoontonMainStreet.org.
The Boonton Historical Museum is a great place to start.
Here you can learn about Boonton’s pivotal role in the Underground Railroad and its influence on aviation and industry during the adolescence of America.
Guided tours are offered throughout the year.
You can also take a self-guided walking tour of the historical area, including two Octagon Homes from the 1850s.
The Boonton Opera House should also be on your list of places to see.
Explore the works of local artists at the Speakeasy Art Gallery or shop for a new print to take home.
There are even art classes available for kids and adults.
You can be a farmer’s market in the Garden State will be worth your time, and it’s a great addition to a downtown Boonton visit on Saturdays from June through November.
At Grace Lord Park, walk the pathway along the river and soak in the sights and sounds of the falls on Rockaway River.
Informational panels line the route to learn the history and evolution of this town.
Check for events at the Sheep Hill Astronomical Association to get incredible views of the night skies.
Tourne County Park is right next door in Denville, and among the nearly 11 miles of hiking trails is a scenic view of the New York City skyline.
This is a four-season destination that offers sledding and cross-country skiing trails in the winter and beautiful wildflowers in spring.
You simply must see the Boonton Falls, with the best season being late spring and early summer.
The falls drop 25 feet into a gorge that also has a walking trail.
One of the most prominent parts of the falls (other than the falls) is the Stone Arch Bridge, built in 1866.
In Boonton Township, visit Brookhollow’s Barnyard for tractor rides, mini-train rides, goat yoga, and a petting zoo.
Places to Avoid in Boonton
You don’t have to worry about bad parts of town or dangerous neighborhoods in Boonton or Boonton Township.
While you should always stick to main roads and avoid cutting through neighborhoods, you’re not going to end up in a place where it’s too dangerous to be.
I’ve written dozens of articles about waterfall safety in my career, but I never feel like I’m *really getting the message through about how dangerous these beautiful locations can be.
Officials warn, “Do not approach the rocks — they are often slippery.
Unfortunately, every few years, youngsters try to swim in the maelstrom, and several have drowned.”
In 2021, a mother drowned trying to save her 11-year-old son, who also drowned.
The woman’s 6-year-old son watched it happen.
Whether it’s snow and ice or just slippery rocks, there’s no reason to climb or walk on the waterfall.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Boonton
- Boonton and Boonton Township each have their own police departments. You can follow them both on Facebook @boontonpd and @BOONTONTWPPD. The main phone number for Boonton Township is (973) 402-4000, and Boonton’s police main line is (973) 402-9371.
- Both towns offer Smart 911 and Nixle to get emergency notifications and stay on top of crime and safety information. Each program is free, and you can just unsubscribe when you leave.
- Use the ParkMobile app to find available parking in Boonton and pay for parking as you go. There are also metered spots with two hours of free parking. It is illegal to move your car after two hours just to get another two hours free in a different space.
- I was surprised to see one of the first updates for Boonton Township on social media being a park closed due to an aggressive bear. Be bear aware in this area and use the New Jersey Department of Fish & Wildlife to learn more about bear safety.
- You can use the Morris County Park Commission app named MCPC Explorer to get the interactive mapping of the many parks and trails in this region. You can also use the interactive map on a computer to plot your path.
- Follow @AlertMorris for emergency management information in Morris County (both Boonton locations are in that county). You’ll get specific weather safety information for approaching storms, hazmat issues, or civil emergencies.
- There is always a risk of flash flooding or flooding after heavy rain. Do not drive through a flooded roadway, no matter how shallow it seems. You could be swept away or hit a part of the road that has been washed out.
- Don’t park on the streets during a snowstorm to better allow snow plows to get through. Some roads will have on-street parking banned. You don’t want to get a ticket, have your car towed, or get broadsided by a plow.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the Department of Fish & Wildlife. All non-residents need a license if they are over the age of 15. You can buy licenses that run for two to seven days if you want a short-term option. Trout fishing will cost extra.
- New Jersey has seen a rash of car thefts over the past few years. You should always take extra steps to keep your car locked and get a steering wheel lock. When you park, angle the wheels, which makes it harder to tow.
So... How Safe Is Boonton Really?
Once I saw that Boonton had more updated and detailed data than other New Jersey cities, I didn’t even have to look at the specifics to know this is one of the safer cities in New Jersey.
Of course, I did look at the specifics.
Boonton hasn’t seen more than 11 violent crimes in a year since 2011.
Boonton Township was at seven or fewer in the past decade.
Larceny rates are low, but the two largest categories are shoplifting and car break-ins.
Even trying to find big news headlines that would impact a visitor isn’t easy.
There was domestic murder that shocked the community and several accidents involving people who died near the river or in lakes.
This just isn’t part of New Jersey where crime is widespread, and you should have no reservations about visiting here.
Of course, this information doesn’t hold up for all of New Jersey, which is why it’s important to read reviews of each New Jersey town you’ll visit.
Crime rates will go up exponentially in Newark.
How Does Boonton Compare?
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A visa is required to enter the country unless you qualify for a visa waiver. A list of those countries is on the U.S. State Department website. You will also need a passport that isn't within six months of expiring.
The U.S. Dollar is the only currency you can use in America. I would recommend taking care of that at home or at the airport since Boonton is a small town. Using a credit card will always offer the best fraud protection.
You'll be close to a lot of parks and outdoor preserves, so bring hiking boots and clothing that can get dirty and sweaty. It will be humid here in the summer. Winter outdoor lovers should bring all their cold weather accessories as it can be snowy and cold here. You'll also want bug spray and sunscreen. Other than that, with four distinct seasons, you can pack accordingly.
Newark Liberty Airport is closest at just 27 miles away from Boonton. You can also get to LaGuardia or JFK. They are each about 50 miles away. Plan extra travel time for traffic.
Travel insurance just makes sense in a location that is so prone to winter or severe weather.
Boonton Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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