Since colonial times, Hardwick has remained primarily a rural agricultural area with no formal town or business center. These factors, in combination with forward looking Master and Open Space Planning, have allowed the Township to retain its essential rural character while preserving its unique environmental systems, abundant wildlife and historical sites. In the most densely populated state, Hardwick has been able to maintain its unique rural character and avoid the overdevelopment that has occurred in other parts of New Jersey.
Hardwick Township was established by Royal Charter in 1749 and was incorporated in 1750. At the time this included sections of what are now Frelinghuysen, Allamuchy, Hackettstown and Green Townships. Hardwick was part of Morris County until 1753 when it was separated to Sussex County. Hardwick remained part of Sussex County until 1824 when that county was divided and Hardwick joined the newly created Warren County. One of the most significant events in town history occurred in 1997 when Hardwick merged with Pahaquarry Township which resulted in the doubling of the town’s land area. This was the first successful municipal consolidation in New Jersey in 50 years.
As a result, Hardwick is the largest land mass town in the County , consisting of 36.5 square miles. Approximately one half of the municipality is located within the boundaries of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area. Overall, 75% of Hardwick is in some form of preservation, which has allowed the town to retain it’s essential rural character Based on the 2020 Census, the current population is 1598.
Because of the natural beauty and scenic vistas, there are numerous opportunities year round to enjoy nature and outdoor recreation activities, such as hiking, boating, fishing, birding, photography, cross country skiing and cycling. And within its borders are many sites of historical interest, including Millbrook Village, The historic Vass property, White Lake, the Pahaquarry Copper Mines, Hardwick Christian Church and Cemetery, Old Mine Road and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area that serves as its western border on the Delaware River.