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Stokes State Forest

photo of: stokes state forest
Photo by Maureen E. Woods

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Stokes
State Forest

Location:
Sussex County

Mailing Address:

1 Coursen Road
Branchville, NJ 07826
(973) 948-3820

GPS Coordinates
DMS 41° 11’ 04.03” N 74° 47' 50.33" W

Size: 16,447 acres

Fees: Entrance fees are charged per vehicle from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
NJ Resident
Non-Resident
 
$ 5.00
$10.00
weekdays
$10.00
$20.00
weekends
N/A
N/A
walk-in/bicycle
$ 5.00
$ 7.00
motorcycle
Link to the Related Fees page 

Directions:
Take Route 206, four miles north of Branchville.

Facilities & Activities:

Trails:

 

 

The breathtaking and panoramic view from Sunrise Mountain along the Appalachian Trail rewards the hiker who has trekked up the steep side of the mountain. The view encompasses the pastoral farmland of New Jersey to the east and undeveloped forests and mountain ridges to the west. For those who don’t relish the idea of climbing up the side of a mountain and following a sometimes rocky and steep trail for a few hours, there is a short drive to the pavilion at the top of the mountain.

Stokes is famous for its impressive beauty, whether it is at the top of a mountain ridge or in the cool and fragrant Tillman Ravine with its rushing stream and steep cliffs. Hikers, campers, fishermen and photographers are attracted to its wild setting.

Keep Your Forest Clean

Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep your parks clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Bags are provided throughout the site. Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.

Park Hours

Open daily sunrise to sunset
Office Hours: Open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Winter Advisory

Effective April 2, 2014 Sunrise Mountain, Grau, Crigger and Struble roads will be opened.

Park Programs

This year we are looking forward to lots of summer fun. Join us and learn about black bears, look for salamanders, listen to stories or take a guided hike.

Park Maps

Park MapPark Map
High resolution for printing purposes;
File Size: 3.09MB

Sunrise Mountain

The crest of Sunrise Mountain is one of the most frequently visited sites in Stokes State Forest. The mountaintop provides a breathtaking view at an elevation of 1,653 feet above sea level. The thin soil and harsh climate characteristic of Sunrise Mountain is a difficult environment in which few plants can survive. Mountain laurel, wild blueberry, pitch pine and scrub oak are among the natural vegetation found throughout the area. The pavilion at the summit was built in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Appalachian Trail runs along the ridge.

Tillman Ravine Natural Area (525 acres)

This cool evergreen forest of eastern hemlock is ideally suited for the steep slopes carved by the rushing waters of Tillman Brook. Several trails wander through this spectacular ravine, providing views of waterfalls and ferns clinging to rock crevices. The area is home to the threatened barred owl and other endangered species.


Camping

The Department of Environmental Protection, State Park Service is pleased to announce through ReserveAmerica our new reservation system for all overnight facilities within the New Jersey State Parks and Forests. Reservations are now available online or through the ReserveAmerica call center.

Online reservations can be made 7 days per week/24 hours a day at ReserveAmerica. To make a reservation through the call center, please contact ReserveAmerica at 1-855-607-3075 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from April 1st through October 31st. Beginning November 1st through March 31st, hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and closed on Saturdays and Sundays. 

We anticipate our visitors will be pleased with our new streamlined reservation system as it provides greater flexibility in searching and reserving available overnight facilities. 

For forms and information on booking a campsite visit our:
reservations page

Alcohol is prohibited. Pets are prohibited in overnight facilities.

Beginning January 1, 2014, a transaction fee of $5 will be charged for all walk-in overnight reservations.

Campsites: 82 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Some camping areas available all year. New Jersey Residents: $20 per night; Non-Residents: $25 per night. Accommodates up to 6 people, including children

Steam Mill Camping Area - 27 tent and pop-up camper sites with an artisan well for water and pit toilets. All sites have a picnic table, fire rings and lantern hooks. New Jersey Residents: $20 per night; Non-Residents: $25 per night.

Steam Mill Campground Map (pdf 228 KB)
Steam Mill Campground Photo

Group campsites: Nine group sites with fire rings and picnic tables; capacity varies. Open from April 1 through October 31. New Jersey Residents: $3 per person, per night
Non-Residents: $5 per person, per night.
We highly recommend that group leaders carefully estimate their group size so not to over estimate as refunds cannot be made later.

Park MapHorseshoe pits have been added to the group campsites and one location at Lake Ocquittunk. Please bring your own horseshoes and spikes.

Lean-tos: Nine enclosed lean-tos with fire rings and picnic tables. Approximate dimensions are 10' x 12' and have a wood stove inside for heat. Open year round. New Jersey Residents: $35 per night; Non-Residents: $40 per night. Accommodates up to 6 people, including children.

Cabins: Ten furnished cabins each with wood stove; two single beds; one double-deck bunk; kitchen with cold and hot running water, refrigerator, electric stove; half-bath with toilet and sink. Electric lights. Each accommodates four people. With prior permission from the superintendent, two additional people may be accommodated. Cabins are adjacent to Lake Ocquittunk. Open from April 1 through December 15. New Jersey Residents: $55 per night; $385 per week; Non-Residents: $65 per night; $455 per week.

Wood is not provided.  You can buy it at the park office for $7 a bag. You need to bring sheets, towels and cooking utensils. There are no small appliances such as a coffee maker, toaster or microwave. Outside the cabins there is a picnic table, fire ring and charcoal grill.

From the Friday before Memorial Day through and including Labor Day, cabins  must be reserved for seven or fourteen consecutive nights only. From April 1st to the Friday before Memorial Day and from the day after Labor Day through October 31st, cabins may be reserved for a minimum of two consecutive nights to a maximum of fourteen consecutive nights.

Cabins 7 & 12 Accommodates eight people. Facilities are the same as listed above, except they include a shower and hot and cold running water. Cabin 7 has a fireplace and Cabin 12 has a wood stove. Accommodates people with disabilities. Located 1/2 mile from Lake Ocquittunk. Open April 1 through December 15. New Jersey Residents: $100 per night; $700 per week; Non-Residents: $110 per night; $770 per week.

Group Cabin 13: Accommodates twelve people. Facilities includes two sleeping areas and two full bathrooms and a Fireplace. Located one mile from Lake Ocquittunk. Open April 1 through November 30. New Jersey Residents: $140 per night; $980 per week; Non-Residents: $150 per night; $1,050 per week.

Special Use Permit Application

Special Use Permit Application Package

A Special Use Permit is utilized to accommodate a specific activity or event being conducted over a short duration. There are two types of special use permits: Non-Commercial and Commercial and fees are based on NJ residency and Non-residents.  A completed application must be submitted to the park/forest area where the activity or event is being held at least 90 days prior to the event. If the special use or event is extremely large or complex, at least one-year’s prior notice is recommended.

Fishing/Hunting

State Park Service areas open to hunting for 2013-2014

Stocked annually by the Division of Fish & Wildlife, the Big Flatbrook and its tributaries provide some of the best trout fishing in New Jersey. Lake Ocquittunk and Stony Lake also are stocked with trout. The majority of the forest is open to hunting. Both fishing and hunting at Stokes State Forest are subject to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife regulations.

Interpretive Programs

The Park staff offer a variety of historical and natural interpretive programs seasonally. Contact the park office for a schedule of programs and to register. Program fees may apply.

Picnicking

Stokes State Forest offers 2 picnic areas Stony Lake and Kittle Field. The Group Picnic Area at Kittle Field has a capacity of 100 people, provides shelter, playfields and playground equipment. It may be reserved for a fee.

Reserving the shelter at Kittle Field does not guarantee the exclusive use of all picnic tables, grills, parking spaces, playground, sports field and/or sanitary facilities at Kittle Field.

Rental of the shelter at Kittle Field gives you and your group exclusive use of the shelter, picnic tables within the shelter, two large steel pedestal charcoal grills outside the shelter and 4 picnic tables outside the shelter.

The Stony Lake picnic area has 45 tables with adjacent grills located next to the swimming area. This area is not reservable.

New Jersey Resident $55 per day, plus applicable parking fees.

Non-Resident $65 per day, plus applicable parking fees.

Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day

New Jersey Resident $80 per day

Non-Resident $90 per day

Day After Labor Day to Friday Before Memorial Day
50 percent of Fee
Group Picnic Cancellation Fee

• Groups of 20 or more people shall reserve picnic facilities at least five days in advance. Such group use is not permitted on Holidays except as authorized by the Superintendent. Reservations for picnic areas are handled by the individual park area offices.

Reservations can be made over the telephone using a credit card, or by mail using the Group Picnic Reservation form* downloadable here. Payment in full of the appropriate group picnicking fee must accompany this application.

*To view this form, please download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat

Boating

Small boats with electric motors are only permitted on the waters of Lake Ocquittunk and are subject to all applicable boating laws. There is no boat ramp.

Swimming

Swimming is permitted in Stony Lake from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day while lifeguards are on duty. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing area, restrooms a first-aid station and picnic facilities. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach.

Park MapHorseshoe pits have been added to the Stony Lake beach area. Please bring your own horseshoes and spikes.

New Horse Shoe Pit

 

Trails

A 12.5-mile section of the Applachian Trail follows the Kittatinny Mountain Ridge through Stokes State Forest. This trail's designated use is restricted to hiking only for its entire length from Maine to Georgia. White blazes mark this narrow and sometimes very rocky trail. A brochure is available regarding New Jersey's portion of the trail at the park office.

Along Kittatinny Mountain are outstanding views of the surrounding landscape. Sunrise Mountain offers scenic vistas of the Kittatinny Valley to the east and the Delaware River Valley to the west.


In addition to the Applachian Trail, there are more than 33 miles of marked trails within Stokes State Forest. Trails vary in length from one half mile to four miles, and over terrains ranging from flat lowlands to rocky mountains. Many of the trails connect, offering the hiker a variety of trips from an hour to a full day.

Homeowners Firewood Program

Through the Homeowner Firewood Program, the Division of Parks and Forestry opens up state land to individuals interested in cutting firewood for personal use. New Jersey residents have the opportunity to cut firewood at participating state parks and forests for resident $25 a cord while supplies last.

The program runs from October 1st to December 16th.

Homeowners Firewood Program Application form*

Homeowners Firewood Program Information Sheet*

*To view this form, please download the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat

FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)


Can I rent equipment at Stokes State Forest?

Stokes does not rent any equipment. All equipment must be provided by the patron, i.e. boats, horses, bikes, etc.

 

 

 

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Questions regarding our parks and forests can be directed to
Michele Buckley of the State Park Service.

 

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: January 14, 2014

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