Stokes State Forest

by Mary Jasch

On the north side of Branchville near the top of New Jersey is a 15,482-acre playground known as Stokes State Forest. It's mountains of gorgeous woods and clean water, and it's mountains of fun. There are trails to walk, birds to find, wildflowers to learn, fish to catch, wildlife to spot, photos to shoot, grass to lie in by the Big Flatbrook, sites to camp and if you're lucky, a cabin to rent. There are ravines to trek, views to be awed by, boulders to hop, fires for hot dogs, and a lake to swim. There's even a school.

The Glacier

One windy morn after a day of heavy rain my friend, Kathy, and I park at the Tinsley Trail on Sunrise Mountain Road and cross the road for a walk on the Kittatinny Geological Trail to engage in a bit of learning. The forest is lovely here. Mountain laurel and witch hazel float through the understory of this open section, and what looks like low bush blueberry covers the ground.

The Tinsley Trail is wide, easily negotiable and a little rocky. To take the geology trail, we step down the rock slabs and follow the blue triangle blaze, surrounded by lots of black birch, chestnut oak and pretty bird songs. Here on the westward side of the mountain, the wind rustles the canopy. Tiny sea foam-colored leafy structures cover tree trunks. Carpets of moss and rocks sporting lichens, and flat, rubbery brown things on boulders, maybe liverworts, decorate the woods. The path follows gentle contours of dips and rises.

Numbered posts along the trail correspond to a map you can pick up in the park office. It explains geological phenomena that define the history and landscape of Stokes (and the rest of the Skylands), with examples along the way. There are numerous small ponds--kettle holes left by the Wisconsin glacier 10,000 years ago--edged with sphagnum moss and animal tracks. Another rocky ledge, and soon we're at a glacial moraine--a long field crammed with huge, rounded boulders tumbled by the glacier. It's a fun walk across the boulders. Back in the woods, there are many narrow paths off the trail, probably critter paths, and as Kathy says, maybe leading to the Animal Quick-Check. There are skinless trees; the bark lies in piles at their bases. What could cause this instant undress?


A small pretty pool on the Kittatinny Geological Trail. Photo: Mary Jasch<

This is a big kettle hole at post number 7. The forest smells so sweet. Beware the solitary red sandstone slab in the walkway; it's probably a human erratic. Soon the trail becomes part of the Tinsley and heads back up to the road. The talus slope on the right is covered with hard-edged rocks that have cracked their way down hill--different from the boulder field. There's a lot of yellow birch around with peeling strips of shiny skin and roots clawing in the thin soil. The Geological Trail is easy if you take it slow and watch for rocks and snake holes.

Driving Tour

One needn't get out of the car for a half-day tour of the forest. Take Route 206 North above Culver Lake and turn right onto Rt. 636 and make the first left to Sunrise Mountain that runs along the Kittatinny Ridge. Trails go off to the sides with either a lazy pace downhill, or a steep climb up to the ridge top where they join the Appalachian Trail on its 12.5-mile journey through the forest. My guide this day is Len Frank, who's been hiking these hills for forty years. He says these trails are nice because they're not used much.

Along the road, old trees stand with their branches bent and broken by Indians and early settlers to make boundary marks, like the huge white oak with moss all over its limb on the left. Old deeds officially referred to these trees as property borders.

At the overlook, see the Delaware Valley roll to the ridges of PA. Once a plateau, the softer rock has long eroded over time unimaginable, leaving the harder ridges .

Contemplating dawn on Sunrise Mountain. Photo by Dick Wilson

The top of Sunrise Mountain, 1,653 feet above sea level, is a hop away. Enjoy the view of the Sussex County landscape--verdant, soft green surfaces dotted with people's homes. Have a picnic on the big flat boulders along the AT and watch soaring vultures and hawks. In late August and early September, birders flock here to see the biggest diversity of birds in a very short period of time, says Dick Wilson, birder. "And the neat thing about Sunrise Mountain is that you have access both east and west, as well as north and south, so you have a good view. And on a clear day you can see forever, and you never know what's going to go by. Different species of hawks fly through at different times. Eagles, swarms of monarchs, hummingbirds...when everything's flying, you never know what kind of day it will be."

On the way down, skunk cabbage crowds the wetlands. Len says that Indians ate the new leaves and they're edible if you parboil them twice to get the toxins out. At the small bridge, on the right, check out the one-toothed stumps left by beavers. Some wild violets and geraniums grow there and Len tells me of violet sandwiches. I eat a bunch, and discover one of the freshest tastes I've ever had.


Gregory Kooz of Lake Hopatcong fishes in Stony Lake. Photo: Mary Jasch

A good spot for base camp is the Steam Mill Campsite, right by the Parker Brook and the Big Flatbrook. You can hike the Parker Trail to High Point from here, or take a few of the more than 33 miles of trails that traverse the forest, some heading up to quieter places along Degroat Road. Fish the trout-stocked Big Flatbrook. Len advises it's a good safety measure to check in at the ranger station whenever you go into a new place, and tell them what you're going to do. The fairly level Swenson trail goes left to Stony Lake, about 3 miles away. Use two cars and park one at Stony Lake and one here for a nice walk.

We creep and bump up Degroat Road over stone, gravel and ruts. The road is rough, with large puddles after a rain. Don't bring your Cadillac here, but it's a good place if you don't want to see any people. Lots of ground squirrels, wild turkeys, rock walls, and hemlock stands and perfect moss-covered rocks are everywhere. Some woods look young and were probably logged recently. The entire forest isn't much more than 100 years old, for in the 1860s, there were no trees left in Stokes. They were logged for lumber, cleared for farming and mostly made into charcoal. Stone walls disappear back from the road, accented by lilacs and apple trees, and at the edge of one stands the biggest box elder in the state, designated by the State Forest Service as a champion box elder. The side roads and trails up here look great to explore.

School of Conservation


A forest sentinel on Sunrise Mountain stands over Sussex County. Photo: Mary Jasch

On Grau Road we drive toward the New Jersey School of Conservation, the oldest and largest university-operated environmental education field center in the nation. The school is run by Montclair State.

The school, created in 1949, is a former Civilian Conservation Corps Camp. It is 240 acres, mostly forest, and contains 30 acres of campus, an 1813 carriage house, and a cabin built in 1860. "There's history here, but George didn't sleep here." From September 1 to June 30, they teach school children about the environment. Almost 9,000 kids a year from schools all over the state come for the experience.

All meals are prepared from scratch. The kids set the tables in two dining halls, serve family-style meals and clean up. There's a library, auditorium and archery range, and Lake Wapalanne, made in the 30s by the CCC, provides canoeing, catch and release fishing, or just watching the fish from the Rainbow Bridge.

The old buildings are studies in Colonial home life, where students learn to spin wool and dye fabrics, and learn the connection to the environment. They compare lifestyle and impacts of then and now. The forge teaches metal-smithing, and the observatory has a telescope where kids can see the rings of Saturn. In June, a junior fly-fishing school instructs 30 kids for a week. Environmental learning is interspersed with the fun. Since trout must live in cold, clean water, they study the watershed connection to the sport.

Summer brings two weeks of intensive study at music ecology camp for teens. Sixteen hours a day is devoted to the study of all types of music and practice--jazz, blues, classical, rock and folk. The finest musicians teach the kids. Environmental learning is always integrated at this school in the middle of the Forest, such as listening for music in nature--animal songs and rustling leaves. The finale is a public symphony.

The emphasis of the school is getting children into the environment, to become empathetic and form a connection, to get a sense of empowerment with nature, and to have fun while they learn.

The Lackner Trail

The road runs around Lake Ocquittunk, a family camping area, where the Big Flatbrook rushes not far from the placid lake. Fishermen zing in trout from both waters. The road crawls out to 206 again, then back in past the office to Kittle Field, one of Len's favorite places. Kittle field is great for family outings with a large pavilion, and lots of parking and nearby trails.

Down the road a bit is Stony Lake, open for swimming. There's a big picnic area with grills and a pavilion. The lake is the color of the sky and today it's shimmering silver. Wildflowers bloom. People fish on the little dock, near groves of hemlock and pine. Funny how the trees grow here, maybe two pine and one hemlock in a bunch growing together, trunks reaching out from common ground. It's a pretty spot to have lunch in the shady grove with a pine needle floor. The deal here is, you can buy a State Park pass and come here as much as you want, or go to any of the other beaches all summer long for only $35 a carload.

If you come to Stony Lake for lunch, take a walk up the Lackner Trail later. It's mild and you get a little exercise. Wear sturdy shoes, not that it's rocky, but the woods are so beautiful here that if you keep looking up at the trees and listen for birds, you don't watch your step. My dog, Farley, and I start at the Stony Lake parking lot on this day. We cross the Stony Brook, a wild trout stream managed to conserve wild trout populations. Little white wildflowers and ferns grow along the brook, some in tufts of moss.

Lackner is a wide old grassy road through mixed oak and hemlock, that look decimated here. Young beech sprouts around, and I hear a steady drip. It's either raining or it's gypsy moth poop. I discover later, it's not raining. If you bring your spunky dog on a hike in Stokes, I recommend an ID implant. The trail winds above Stony Lake. The forest looks pretty good right here ­ verdant, full, and growing--with lots of skinny hardwood and white pine saplings and shrubs. Farley's fascinated by something behind the rise above us. Keeps looking and I don't want to know what it is. It's a nice, bright, sunny trail. Wildflowers pop in the good light here. The woods smell good. I hear the strange creaking of a tree, like a wail, and spot a great big gall as big as me, all balled up on a tree, so big my heart almost stopped. I thought it was a you-know-what. Oh for the days of innocence when bears were only in the Wizard of Oz.

The little edge species, the dogwoods, and the maple-leaf viburnums start to crowd the trail. It becomes narrower and wiggles through the bushes, moist now because it follows the slope of a ridge. Fiddleheads grow in the wet pathway. A little red finch flits, and blow downs are left for the critters. What are these wide depressions? Little ponds where big trees once stood? We turn back where the Red Mine trail intersects. With scattered activity through the rest of the forest, there is no one on this trail today. The Lackner Trail is a comfortable, easy walk.

Ponds and Birds


Tree roots love the rocks here in the shallow mountain soil. They're partners for a long time. Photo: Dick Wilson

On another day, I meet Dick and Linda Wilson, naturalists, photographer and artist, to see birds and flowers on the other end of the Lackner Trail. We turn left on Shotwell Rd. and park. "We are going to go back here by the beaver pond to see what we can see," says Dick. "One of the parts of good birding is that you can do other things." In June, the local birds will be in the woods, maybe rose-breasted grosbeak or Northern or Baltimore orioles.

The Lackner Trail from this end is a fire road. An unusual, star-shaped dandelion grows by the gate, Jack-in-the-pulpits thrive and a brook sparkles on the left. I can see through the open, park-like woods and feel safe. We follow the stream to the pond and Dick says you never know what might be there. "Don't look for birds. Look for things that shouldn't be there--strange shapes, movement, a color that doesn't match with a shape, and that will generally direct you into a bird or a critter."

The Beaver Pond is a gathering place for wild critters, and the best time to see them is dawn or dusk. Today, tree swallows dart, red-winged blackbirds sing. Woodpeckers peck old dead trees. Up at the top, over the dark bracket fungi, the rectangular hole says "pileated woodpecker." It's Bird Haven. Wetlands surround the pond that dumps into a stream with a series of beaver dams and little rocky waterfalls. The beavers raised the water level of the pond by a few feet, and I can almost look up at it. It's a great place to sit quietly with binoculars and a bird book. "Beaver ponds and wet areas are where you can find all sorts of things. Some of the places are not marked on the maps. We could go around the pond and god knows what we'd find. There are all sorts of wildlife. We didn't see any bears, raccoons, skunks, mink, otter, weasel, porcupine. I've never seen a live porcupine in NJ, but I'm told that they're here." Dick advises that anyone coming in contact with copperheads, an endangered species, should leave them alone.

"I put my shotgun down in 1969 and got a Nikon camera. With film you can shoot and shoot and the animal's still alive and can be photographed another time. It's a very nice feeling and I'm not anti-hunting. If you're taking pictures, you're not doing anything to the property except leaving your footprints. All this momentum that we've had to gain open space, and now people are using it. It's a wonderful thing to be able to come into a place such as Stokes and just wander as we did this morning."

The Lackner is a great trail for people who have never been to Stokes. It has a variety of landscape and habitats where you could see any wildlife. It's a nice walk for people who have trouble walking.

Tillman Ravine Natural Area

Len Frank of Hackettstown climbs through sandstone walls at Tillman Ravine. Photo: Mary Jasch

Take Struble road on the west side of 206, through the hemlock and pine forest, past the Boy Scouts and 4-H camps, to the southwestern edge of the forest along Tillman Brook. Walk through regeneration of pines, down into the Hansel and Gretel evergreen forest. It's cool under the dark canopy, with few hardwoods. Walls of red shale and sandstone were cut by spring-fed Tillman Brook, which splashes and falls over wide sandstone steps. "You can take off your clothes and just sit in the bathtub, during the hottest days. You can sit in there till you get cold then come out," says Len of the pothole created by the whirling action of the stream. Native rhododendrons line the ravine all along the rocky way. Follow the red blaze, accompanied by the soft sound of waterfalls, along the brook to the road, the boundary of Stokes. Across the road is an old cemetery. Be ready to cross the brook and step over logs. Tillman Ravine is designated to the Natural Areas System for its forest, geological features, and endangered wildlife and plants. The 525-acre ravine is moist, green, shady and cool on a hot summer's day.

Family Hikes in Stokes Forest

Nearby accommodations and attractions

  • Grey Towers
  • Whistling Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast
  • Nine guestrooms, each with private bath, some with 2-person Jacuzzis and fireplaces. Queen and King-sized beds. Full buffet-style breakfast plus complementary 24-hour snacks and soft drinks. Free wireless connection, guest computer and printer available. Covered wrap-around porch with 2-person hammock and gardens for relaxing. Located 1 mile off I-80, 6 miles north of Chester and 8 miles south of Newton.

    110 Main St., Stanhope 07874, 973/347-6369 toll free: 888-507-2337

  • Harmony Ridge Campground
  • Outstanding family facilities near Culver Lake and Stokes Forest include over 200 sites on 160 acres, cabins, trailers, tent sites, camp store, laundry, hot showers and full range of on-site activities.

    23 Risdon Drive, Branchville 07826, 973/948-4941

  • Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum
  • Thousands of photos and artifacts document the lake's long and illustrious history. Open every Sunday through June, 12-4pm, October thru May. Free admission, parking.

    323 Lakeside Blvd., Hopatcong State Park, Hopatcong 07843, 973/398-2616

  • Wooden Duck Bed & Breakfast
  • Secluded ten-acre mini-estate adjacent to Kittatinny Valley State Park offers ten spacious guest rooms with private baths, some with fireplace, 2-person tub, and balcony. In-ground pool, country breakfast, free wireless Internet, bike/horse/walking trails. Corporate meetings are also welcome!

    140 Goodale Rd., Newton 07860, 973/300-0395

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Comments

Lynne Allen
08 Jan 2014, 11:20
Need to know the temperature in cabins in winter to figure out what kind of sleeping bag needed in February.
Rachel
26 Mar 2012, 11:56
Hi Jardianami-\r\n\r\nThank you for your kind response. I enjoyed reading your response. It made me laugh and I needed a good laugh. And, you make good sense. I will go camping there. Thanks. Rachel
Jardinami
25 Mar 2012, 17:28
Obviously, Tyrone is a potty mouthed ingrate! When a person is uses profanity they are ultimately lowering their own self esteem and others have little regard for their opinion. In this case it is way off base and an absolute LIE! Perhaps Tyrone loves the asphalt jungle more than a pristine forest!
Rachel
24 Mar 2012, 14:02
Tyrone-\r\n\r\nThanks for your response. Why did this place "suck cock"? Would we be better off getting tents at another camp site near the Delaware River? Rachel\r\n\r\n
Tyrone
24 Mar 2012, 10:13
This place sucked cooooooock
Rachel
14 Mar 2012, 11:32
Hi. I'm Rachel and me and a couple of friends would like to rent a cabin at Stokes State Forest in early June. Are the cabins near water and worth it??
Stokes
12 Mar 2011, 08:26
I am going here in 4 days! cant wait!
Diane Dunwell-Hoffman
19 Jan 2011, 20:00
To Ethan Mosser, Thank you regarding my dad and his contributions to Stokes via the CCCs. I am so grateful that he also shared his experience with us. We went every year,and I took my children, and now grandchildren. My sister and I took many friends too. \r\n\r\nYou mentioned about camping off the beaten track. Once when I was camping there the summer of 1973 or 74 we hiked up the side of Buttermilk Falls and there was a tent pitched not far off from our sight, with a man and if my memory serves me I think there was a dog too. We hiked back down as to not disturb the campers privacy.\r\n\r\nI so love Stokes.
johnathan
12 Oct 2010, 16:13
STOKES IS AWSOME i wenk last year and now my brother is going this year i hope he has a good time
david
05 Oct 2010, 14:26
I am going there in november and i want to make fire!!!!!!!!!!!
Paul
04 Aug 2010, 07:49
Ethan I too was a lifeguard at Stony Lake for 5 years but my time pre-dated yours(1965-1969). It the first year the public access, guarded beach moved from Lake Ocquittunk to Stony. Lake Wapalanne also has a small swimming area but it is only for people associated with the camp/school. Many fond memories of the other forest employees I worked with and visitors to the beach. Did you have fun enforcing the posted, "No floatation devices rule?"\r\nWe are indeed indebted to the initial work done by the CCC workforce. If any of you are still around to read this post, many thanks. It has been nice to see the many improvements made to that portion of the forest in the intervening years.
Ethan Mosser
03 Aug 2010, 19:29
What a fantastic read about the wonders of stokes state forest. I was a lifeguard at Stony Lake for 5 years from 1997 - 2002. It is truly my favorite place on this earth. During my time at Stokes, I learned much and can answer some questions from other comments.\r\nFirst, the artesian well is (as Paul astutely pointed out) right on the "shoulder" of shotwell road directly adjacent to the maintenance yard and it is the best damn water God ever put on Earth. You can't miss it, there are always a few cars waiting in line.\r\nTo Diane Dunwell-Hoffman, to my understanding the very dam that makes Stony Lake a "lake" was built by the CCC. If your father was part of that you should be very proud because he made something beautiful. \r\nTo many posters here, I can say that from personal experience, you need not worry about camping for a night or two "off the beaten track" as it were. Unfortunately, the forest is very understaffed and Rangers generally don't investigate beyond the designated campsites and roads. If you have a mind to hike the myriad of trails in Stokes and camp the night I can say with confidence that you will probably not be bothered. I have one it myself several times ( by the swamp off Coursen trail, at Tillman's ravine, at Buttermilk Falls, and even at Stony Lake). Just please be sure you respect the "carry in - carry out " regulations and be supremely careful if you have to light a campfire.
ellen
29 Apr 2010, 18:43
I will never forget my school trip to Stokes State Forest.It was in the sixth grade.Now I am almost 50 years old.It had such an impact on me.It was beautiful!Good food at the mess hall,square dancing,and lots of hiking.I remember the weather was damp and cold,it was in March,but it was just wonderful.We went to buttermilk falls and Peter's Valley.
lauren
17 Apr 2010, 09:39
im sooooooooo exited joint activites\r\nahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh\r\n2 days\r\n
ojluisviyna
10 Mar 2010, 14:40
OMG IM in 5th grade and i just went last week it was awsome hopw i go back
love2hike
19 Jan 2010, 12:03
Wondering if there are organized hikes led by park rangers at Stokes? Can't find info on it on-line. Thanks in advance.
Stephen Trant
29 Nov 2009, 07:00
Any info on winter birds in Stokes as I will be camping at Lake
HHKGabby
23 Oct 2009, 15:43
Our school went to "Stokes" and we all enjoyed it a lot. We learned so much and it really is a great place. We stayed for 3 days and we had rock climbing, confidence course, water ecology, orienteering, and survival. They all were amazing and we enjoyed it a lot
paul
07 Oct 2009, 10:52
This is for Betsy inquiry about spring water near the ranger station. Shortly after passing the ranger station (toll collection) instead of going straight ahead to Kittle Field and Stony Lake, take the first left and go about a half a mile. On your right there will be a vehicle marshalling area/ garage. The spring is a large diameter pipe about 3 feet off the ground. In the summers on humid days, condensation forms on the pipe due to the temperature difference. I hope this helps.
Michael
07 Oct 2009, 05:46
Are there any hiking clubs that are specific to Stokes forest? \r\n
JK
27 Sep 2009, 08:41
is there a good place in this park that someone can suggest photographing a "SUNSET" not a sunsise.\r\n\r\nthanks so much
Diane Dunwell-Hoffman
08 Sep 2009, 06:20
My father was in the Civilian Conservation Corp at Stokes. We had many a family get together there. I had taken my children, and grandchildren there. It is my most favorite place on earth. I wrote a blog on blogspot about Stokes. http://jardinami.blogspot.com/
Brenda
02 Sep 2009, 13:04
I went on this school trip to Stokes in 1971. I was in the 6th grade. It was definately a trip I will never forget. I can remember spinning wool, dipping candles and learning about Colonial living. We stayed in cabins and ate in a large log style building. The last night we performed skits for our fellow classmates. I would recommend this trip!!!
Betsy
28 Aug 2009, 12:19
I have a friend who gets water from a spring by the Rangers Station. Where might I find this?
THOMAS COGHAN
26 Aug 2009, 12:41
STOKES FOREST IS THE GREATEST CAMPING RESORT IN BRANCHVILLE;YES YOU DO HAVE TO PAY TO HAVE A TENT SITE FOR THE GIRL WHO ASKED;ITS A STATE PARK AND THERE IS A FEE;BUT IN COMPARISON TO THE OTHER SITES ITS THE CHEAPEST YET THE BEST;WE WENT WITH AN RV THIS YEAR AND IT WAS VERY SECLUDED AND PEACEFUL;HOWEVER THERE IS NO ELEC HOOKUP FOR RV OR WATER HOOKUP;BUT SO WHAT YOU ROUGH IT OUT A LITTLE BIT ;ITS CAMPING;I AM HOPING TO GO IN THE EARLY FALL WITH MY WOMEN;WHO LOVES IT TOO
Genny
06 Aug 2009, 20:43
OMG i went with my school for my 8th grade year and it was amazing i had the best time ever and im not an outdoor girl but i still loved it i would so want to go back =]
Amanda
22 Jul 2009, 13:55
Do you have to pay to just camp out in your own tents there?
Fran Veit
05 Jul 2009, 20:09
Got lost driving to Stokes State Forest from Culver Lake area. We passed a home with a Pumpkin Roof - can you please advise location of the home as it was very unique and would love to drive by again.\r\n\r\nThank you\r\n\r\nFran
The Firouz family
12 Jun 2009, 07:32
Please respond...\r\nWe used to come to NJ Stokes Forest (Stony Lake) many years ago and enjoyed the lake and the food. They used to have a place to purchase fast foods and drinks and a very clean lakes.\r\nWhat are the conditions of the Stony Lake, admission fees, food place, etc.\r\nThanks in advance for responding...\r\n\r\n
KaimanaHaru
17 Apr 2009, 12:22
I'm a student from John Adams Elementray school. Every year, fifth graders go to Stokes. I thought Stokes would suck and had this feeling that there was no point in going, I'll tell the truth. But I was SO wrong! (The square dance was the best! At first it was a stupid old square dance...that turned to a hip-hop sensation!)\r\nOur instrmental teacher told us a story about Stokes. He said someone told it to him, but he's not sure if it's real:\r\nJerimia Stokes was a very sucessful man. He raised goats and everyone wanted his goat milk, meat, anything! One day, a big big storm was coming up. Jerimia took all his goats to the barn where they'd be safe from the thunderous storm. He heard a goat near the lake and relized that that was his most favorite goat. He didn't want it to die so he ran to the little goat and grabbed it and tried to run back to the barn. He was very close but before he could reach it, he was shocked by thunder.\r\nMost people would die from that but not Jerimia. Instead, he and the goat fused into one monster. He had horns on one end but not the other, half a goat leg, etc... and ran away baaing. Some think he cannot die and if you are very quiet in the dead of the night, you can hear him baaing, hoping to find someone to take care of his goats.
thomas coghan
28 Feb 2009, 17:46
WELL its MARCH already so another 2-3 months and I hope I have the luck to be able to go again
Taylor
11 Feb 2009, 07:52
is there a ghost lerking in these woods?
sarah and jena
27 Jan 2009, 14:05
we are students at jordan road school and we went on a trip to Stokes in 6th grade and it was so fun! we stayed in cabins 6 and 3. It was so fun, and we ate our lunch at big timbers and we learned about the lenape indians and unfortunatley on the all day hike we didn't make it to the top due to an injury of a classmate. Though over all it was a great experience and we would love to go camping there to visit the familiar park.
Sue
25 Jan 2009, 14:51
As a parent of one of the kids that went on a school trip I was very fortunate to go to Stokes for 3 days, all 5th grades, all different schools. I really thought I was not going to like camping but it changed my mind as soon as I arrived. The place is breathtaking, I couldn't believe how beautiful this place is. My favorite part was Hiking. Dont get me wrong everything I did with the different groups of kids were excellent, and they were great too, but hiking was for me. If I ever return I will make sure I will go in the spring. Only because I went for the winter and it was awesome, I cant even imagine how it would be in the spring.
tom coghan
20 Jan 2009, 19:19
Cannot wait until-open cabin season starting april;but probably will not be able to get back to my cabin by middle of may or beginning of june;watch out trout;I know where your at and im gonna have a great fire going once the sun goes down.I have a favorite cabin;not that I tried any of the others because the first one I ever rented happens to be ideal for me.Stokes is a nice place to take a vacationand you can camp tent leen-to or cabin or if ya got a suv you can go that route too
scott pinck
05 Nov 2008, 07:13
please inform me of the specific website or information for stokes state forest camping accomidations. Looking to stay day after Thanksgiving
Mal
07 Oct 2008, 10:22
Folks, for those of you who are asking specific questions about the park and want a response,phone number, etc., click on the link immediately above the purple comments box that says "Official State Information" \r\n
jonathan langbein
01 Oct 2008, 04:21
what is the phone # or web address for stokes? i cannot find anylink or contact to seek camping reservations. can you help me?
sandy Marcovecchio
25 Sep 2008, 07:51
I am going to Stokes on a school trip. I have heard that our cabins do not have bathrooms. Is that correct that not all of the cabins have bathrooms? How far are they from the cabins?
Tom c
14 Sep 2008, 14:49
My two weeks from august24 to sept5th have ended.I will always remember the time and how it passed so quickly.From the roaring fires we made at night to the critters who take over the silence in the night and chirp and quirk all night long ;starting as soon as the sun goes down till early morning.I do have a favorite cabin but i willnot mention it in hopes it doesnt get taken by the time Im ready to go next year.
Mikey
14 Sep 2008, 14:22
Spring water is in the park on the way to the Shotwell camping area. Stop at the ranger station at the entrance to the park and ask. I love this place and have camped there in all seasons but my fav. is the winter.
Helen Lowry
19 Aug 2008, 09:38
Is there cabins available for this weekend 8/22,23
Reinaldo Williams
26 Jul 2008, 22:20
Reinaldo\r\n26 july 2008 01:18\r\nwould like info for group camping for the last week end in aug,2008
tom
05 Jul 2008, 15:31
I went camping this year at stokes and decided to go the cabin route this time around being im in my forties now.What a great place and time we shared me and my girlfriend.Minus the hardships of sleeping in a tent on the ground and minus the grungee feeling ;the cabin is the way to go for me and ill be back august 24th and staying till sept 5th yeee hawww!kitchen with table fireplace and bunks with electric lighting ;firepit and grill .inside toilet ;no stinky dump and plunk!
Jillane
04 Jul 2008, 10:39
There is a crystal clear spring of delicious water that bubbles out of the rocks by Brink Rd Shelter, but there are many other springs throughout the park.
martina
17 Jun 2008, 17:01
I would like to do some survival camping,sort of speak. I went to Haramon State part only to find that it undesignated camping was no longer allowed there. This is the kind of camping I did in my youth and would like to experience again but I don't want to break the law or be ticketed. Where can I do this kind of camping locally?
Teresita
31 May 2008, 06:24
There are lots of activities here. I remember going back when I was in 6th grade with my school. I think the best part of Stokes is that you get to learn the special things of the forest and with the activities that they have you can learn survival skills in the forest and if you're lucky you can see the different wildlife. I experienced seeing bears and deers and other wildlife animals. They are harmless if you don't bother them and they won't break into the cabins if you don't have any sweets.LOL On my camping experience one of my classmates took sweets and the bear broke into her cabin. They had to call the park rangers to take the bear out. I'm not too sure if it was a cub or if it was and adult. The bear only wanted sweets.LOL If your lucky you get to see them during the day but they only come out at night. Besides that point its a great expierence for students if you ask me.
tinker bell
23 May 2008, 19:25
i've only visited the park once. wanted to hike...are there trails, will I get lost? I remember going there with my Professor he seemed to know the forest pretty well..\r\n
mike
15 May 2008, 05:36
Where's a good spot to take 1-4 graders fishing and hiking in Stokes?
Caroline
08 May 2008, 11:07
I also would like to know where the spring water for drinking is. I've been told there is an artesian well somewhere but can't find it anywhere in the park.
Tracy
28 Feb 2008, 11:05
I would like to obtain spring water for drinking and want to know exactly where I might find it.
Jeff
13 Feb 2008, 14:10
Is this area decent for easy to moderate snowshoeing? Swenson Trail is fairly level, is there snow up there this week?
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