Highlands is a town in Orange County, New York, United States. Officially known as the Town of Highlands, it is located on the eastern border of the county. The population was 12,492 at the 2010 census.
The West Point CDP, including the United States Military Academy (West Point), is located alongside the Hudson River here, and the military reservation occupies a large part of the town.
The town was first settled around 1725 by John Moore, a patentee for this territory.
During the American Revolution, colonial forces constructed Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton to obstruct enemy progress on the river.
The Town of Highlands was created from the Town of Cornwall in 1872, making it one of the last towns formed in the county.
Highlands is located at 41°21′36″N 074°00′30″W (41.3601108, -74.0084276) and its elevation is 1,017 feet (310 m).
According to the 2010 United States Census, the town has a total area of 33.47 square miles (86.69 km2), of which 30.41 square miles (78.76 km2) is land and 3.06 square miles (7.93 km2) is water.
Part of the south town line is the border of Rockland County, New York. The east town line is the border of Putnam County, New York, marked by the Hudson River.
US-9W and NY-218 are important north-south highways. NY-293 intersects them west of the military academy.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,484 people, 3,230 households, and 2,322 families residing in the town. The population density was 404.0 people per square mile (156.0/km²). There were 3,418 housing units at an average density of 110.6 per square mile (42.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 75.18% White, 13.16% African American, 0.49% Native American, 2.68% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 2.27% from other races, and 3.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.71% of the population.
There were 3,230 households out of which 43.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.1% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.32.
The age distribution is 22.8% under the age of 18, 32.1% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 12.2% from 45 to 64, and 6.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 147.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 162.2 males. These statistics are consistent with the presence of the West Point military base in general, and the Academy in particular.
The median income for a household in the town was $52,816, and the median income for a family was $59,345. Males had a median income of $23,491 versus $27,406 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,830. About 2.8% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.Bear Mountain State Park – Part of the state park is on the south border of the town.
Crows Nest – An elevated location near the north town line.
Fort Montgomery – A hamlet on the bank of the Hudson River.
Gees Point – A projection into the Hudson River by West Point village.
Highland Falls – The Village of Highland Falls in the eastern part of the town on the Hudson River.
Palisades Interstate Park – Part of the park is by the south town line.
West Point – A hamlet on the Hudson River north of West Point, the military academy.
Highlands is represented in the Orange County Legislature by Roxanne Donnery D-C.