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Stokes State Forest

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

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State Forest

Sussex County

Mailing Address:

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

GPS Coordinates
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
$ 5.00
$ 5.00
$ 7.00
Link to the Related Fees page 

Take Route 206, four miles north of Branchville.

Facilities & Activities:




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.

Park Advisory

December 14, 2020: Sunrise Mountain Road is closed due to incoming snowy weather.

Visit and follow for the most recent information on park operations — some amenities may not be available due to COVID-19.

Park Advisory

Swimming is not permitted in any of the lakes at Stokes State Forest

The following seasonal roads within Stokes State Forest will be closed from December 15 through April 15 or at any other time when there are hazardous conditions due to weather:
Sunrise Mountain Road 
Grau Road
Crigger Road
Struble Road (at 4H camp)
You can call the park office between the hours of 8:00 am and 4 for a status on road closures 973-948-3820.

Keep Your Forest Clean

Through the Carry-In/Carry-Out Program you can help us keep the parks clean and beautiful by carrying out the trash you carry in. Please bring a biodegradablebag with you when visiting to take your trash home.Thank you for your cooperation and remember to recycle.

Park Hours

Open daily sunrise to sunset.

The park office is closed until further notice.

Office Hours: Open daily 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park Programs

Check with the Forest Office for information on our programming.

Park Maps

A guide to Stokes (PDF)

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.


Click to make a Camping Reservation

Reserve a campsite at  Please note tent and trailer family campsites are available to reserve until December 15, 2020. Cabins, group cabins, shelters, lean-tos, group lean-tos, wilderness campsites, group campsites, primitive campsites, and primitive group campsites remain closed until further notice.

Alcohol is prohibited.

A non-refundable service fee of $5.00 will be charged to the customer for each reservation.
Changes to the reservation that occur prior to the Start/Check in date will incur a non refundable fee of $5.00.
Changes made after the start/check-in date will be chargerd a service fee according to the following:

  • If the total fee is greater than or equal to $50.00 then a fee of $5.00 will be charged.

  • If the total fee is less than $50.00 then the fee of $2.00 will be charged.

Pet Friendly Campsites please click here for details on sites that are designated Pet Friendly, license and innoculation paperwork requirements and additional cost. Pet friendly sites are family campsites #101-137.

Campsites: 82 tent and trailer sites with fire rings and picnic tables. Some camping areas available all year. Fee: NJ Resident: $20 per night; Non Resident: $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. Fee: NJ Resident: $20 per night; Non-Resident: $25 per night.

Group campsites: Nine (Ten) group sites located at Haskins with fire rings and picnic tables. Open April 15 to October 31.  Campsites A, B, C, D, E, and F accommodate up to 30 people. Fee: NJ Resident $60 per night; Non Resident $120 per night. Campsite G accommodates up to 65 people. Fee: NJ Resident $130 per night; Non Resident $260 per night. Campsite H accommodates up to 10 people. Fee: NJ Resident $20 per night; Non Resident $40 per night. Campsite I accommodates up to 45 people. Fee: NJ Resident $90 per night; Non Resident $180 per night. Campsite Z, located at Lake Ashroe accommodates up to 40 people. Parking is not allowed on the campsite, but there is a designated park area.  Fee: NJ Residents $80 per night; Non Resident $160 per night.

Horseshoe 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 located in Shotwell Camping Area with fire rings and picnic tables. Approximate dimensions are 10' x 12' and have a wood stove inside for heat. Open year round. Fee: NJ Resident $35 per night; Non Resident $40 per night. Lean-tos accommodates up to 6 people, including children

Group Lean-tos: Located at Lake Ashroe.  GL-X has 3 lean-tos and accommodates 5 people each for a total of 18 people. Fee: NJ Resident $105 per night: Non Resident $120 per night.
GL-Y has 5 lean-tos and accommodates 4 people each for a total of 20 people. Fee: NJ Resident $125 per night: Non Resident $150 per night. The site is hike in only. Parking is located at Group Site Z.
Each lean-to has a charcoal grill and each group site has 2 fire rings and multiple lantern hooks.
There is no wood stove for heat.

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. Cabins are adjacent to Lake Ocquittunk. Fee: NJ Resident $55 per night; $385 per week; Non Resident $65 per night; $455 per week.

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. Fee: NJ Resident $100 per night; $700 per week; Non Resident $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. Fee: NJ Resident $140 per night; $980 per week; Non Resident $150 per night; $1,050 per week.

Wood is not provided.  You can buy it at the park office for $7 a bundle. 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.

Cabins must be reserved for seven or fourteen consecutive nights only during the summer months. Cabins may be reserved for a minimum of two consecutive nights to a maximum of fourteen consecutive nights during the off season.

Check the camping website,, or call the park office for when the cabins open and close.

Campground Map (pdf)

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.


State Park Service areas open to hunting

Tree Stands and Blinds Policy

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.


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. 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


Small boats with electric motors, kayaks and canoes are permitted on the waters of Lake Ocquittunk, Stony Lake and Lake Ashroe.  They are subject to all applicable boating laws. You must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket. There are no boat ramps at these areas.


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.

See attached "Winter Activities Map" for more information.

Appalachian Trail

12.5 miles of the Appalachian 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.
There are 2 designated overnight shelters: Brink Road Shelter and Gren Anderson Shelter. These are the only overnight locations that allow you to stay overnight on the trail. Camping is limited to 1 night per shelter.

  • Each shelter has a bear box
  • No fires are permitted at the shelters or on State of NJ property
  • Pets must be leashed at all times
  • Carry out all trash
  • 10 people maximum per shelter
  • Limited water sources can be found via a spring at both shelters.  You should plan to carry sufficient water for your hike as water along the trail may not be available. All water obtained along the trail should be chemically treated or boiled for 5 minutes.

No motor vehicles of any kind are permitted on AT.  The Appalachian Trail is for foot travel only.

  • Overnight parking is located at the Appalachian Trail Parking Lot on Route 23 just South of the Park Office. A permit is required and can be obtained during Park Office business hours. This is the only designated overnight parking for the AT in High Point State Park.

Information regarding the Appalachian Trail in NJ can be found here


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
Joy Eastmead of the State Park Service.


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Last Updated: December 14, 2020

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