Stokes State Forest Branchville, New Jersey


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 autumn colors are truly spectacular and hawk migration can be seen in the spring and fall. 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. Stokes is located along 12 miles of the Kittatiny Mountain Ridge in Sussex County. In addition to the 12.5 miles of the Appalachian Trail, there are more than 33 miles of marked trails within the forest.

The camping area is wooded and secluded and includes open field sites for larger groups as well as cabins. Swimming is allowed at Stony Lake between Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can picnic at scenic Kittle Field or Stony Lake. Boating is permitted at Lake Ocquittunk and Stony Lake and ┬áthe best spot for trout fishing is the “Flatbrook”. In winter months when weather permits, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snow mobiling are allowed on the trails and ice-skating on the lakes.

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.