Stokes State Forest
Guide

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Introduction

The astounding views of Stokes State Forest will simply take your breath away. This State Forest is blessed with all kinds of natural beauty, featuring everything nature has bestowed upon us. There are water streams, waterfalls, undeveloped forests, and mountain ridges for vacationers, guest, and adventurers to enjoy and be a part of.

The awe-inspiring panoramic views and a range of recreational activities have made Stokes State Forest one of the most popular spots for RV campers. Located North off Branchville and closer to the top of New Jersey, Stokes State Forest features 15, 482 acres of forested area. The landscape takes vacationers far away from their everyday lives, and immerses them into the warm and relaxing arms of nature.

You’re bound to forget everything that troubles you as you stand on top of Sunrise Mountain and look at the impressive beauty of the Sussex County below you. All you see is verdant lands dotted with small houses and various species of exotic birds occasionally flying above the canopy.

One day is not enough to allow you to truly appreciate everything this park has to offer you. Make sure you bring your RV, settle down for more than a day and have the time of your life with boating, canoeing, fishing, skiing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and many more fun and adventurous activities.

Pack your RV, and make sure you bring your own horseshoes, fishing gear, cooler and other accessories to participate in every recreation activity Stokes State Forest has to offer.

RV Rentals in Stokes State Forest

Transportation in Stokes State Forest

Driving

The forest is located North of New Jersey, near the top and following your GPS map to get to Stokes State Forest is child’s play. You need to be careful during the winters, however, as ice covers the roads. Taking Route 206 four miles north of Branchville will lead you to the entrance of the forest. The road is wide enough to let big rigs through, however some of the roads are narrow, so make sure to talk to a ranger before confirming your campsite. There are sites available on grass for tenting and pull-through. An RV dealer near the park entrance is also highly convenient, in case you need to take care of those last minute checks and repairs.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Stokes State Forest

Campsites in Stokes State Forest

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Steam Mill Campground

The Steam Mill Camping Area has 27 campsites in total that come equipped with an artisan well, pit toilet, along with picnic tables and fire rings. Sanitary stations are a distance away from the campsites.

Steam Mill Campgrounds feature primitive campsites that offer a more rugged outdoor experience with minimal facilities and amenities available. Stokes State Forest truly has everything an outdoor enthusiast could wish for!

Alternate camping

Ocquittunk Campground

The Ocquittunk Campground has 24 camp sites in total which are a mixture of tent and pop-up sites. These campsites offer a minimalist camping experience surrounded by the lush woodlands, stream and adventure trails. Each campsite comes with the bear essentials; a picnic table, grill, water access, and vault toilets. No pets are allowed at Ocquittunk Campgrounds.

Lake Ocquittunk also has ten sheltered cabins that offer all kids of amenities to ensure a luxurious and comfortable camping experience.

Stokes State Forest Shotwell Campgrounds

Stokes State Forest has a total of 82 tent and trailer sites located at Shotwell, Ocquittunk, and Steam Mill. The Shotwell Campground has a total of 31 sites for tent and RVs. Each site comes equipped with a picnic table, BBQ grill, access to drinking water, fire rings, and nearby vault toilets.

The Shotwell Campground also has nine enclosed lean-tos that are available for reservation all year round and offer heating in the form of wood stoves.

Only family sites #101-137 are pet friendly at Stokes State Forest so make sure to reserve these in advance if you plan on bringing your pets along.

Stokes State Park also has ten group sites for trailers that can accommodate up to 30 people and come with picnic tables and fire rings. Some camping areas are available year-round, whereas others can be accessed seasonally.

Seasonal activities in Stokes State Forest

In-Season

Boating & Swimming

Swimming is not allowed all throughout the summer but only during specific times when the lifeguards are on duty. There’s a clean and furnished beach complex with restrooms, changing area, first-aid station, concession stand with beach and food supplies, and picnic facilities.

Swimming paraphernalia such as flotation devices, rafts, and tubes are not allowed and only coast guard approved life jackets can be brought to the swimming area. In addition to swimming, boating is also permitted in a separate boating area where one can kayak, canoe or paddle board along the river.

Fishing

Stokes State Forest is crowded all year long for many reasons and fishing is near the top of that list. The Big Flatbrook, as well as its tributaries, are stocked every year by the Division of Fish and Wildlife and everyone who goes there swears by the trout in the river! It is said to be the best trout fishing spot in all of New Jersey. Fishing in the State Forest is not only relaxing but also rewarding.

Hiking

Stokes State Forest is a hot spot for hiking enthusiasts. The park has 24 official trails with the shortest one being less than half a mile and the longest one close to thirteen miles of breathtaking natural terrain. Hikers from all over the state make sure they stay for longer to make the most of their vacation and brave as many trails as they can.

Three of the most beloved trails in Stokes State Forest are The Blue Mountain Trail, The Stepping-Stone Trail, and the Stony Brook Trail. The mountains, the waterfalls, and the streams make all these hikes definitely worth the effort!

Off-Season

Winter Sports

Stokes State Forest presents an entirely different picture in the winters. Gone are the green trees and blue waters, and in its place remains snow and ice for as far as the eyes can see. Yet the recreational activities offered by the state park in winters are just as fun. Campers can enjoy ice fishing, snowmobiling or go cross-country skiing. The trails can be also be used for snowshoeing a fun winter activity that can be enjoyed by most outdoor enthusiast.

Adventurous Activities

As family-friendly as Stokes State Forest is, it also has a lot to offer to the more daring vacationers. All year round the park offers many adventurous activities like horseback riding, bouldering, archery, rock climbing, and hiking on some of the most thrilling trails. The park also opens some of its designated trails for mountain biking where bikers can enjoy stunning views as they zoom past rugged forested terrain.

Space Farm

Within the boundaries of Stokes State Forest is a point of interest that should not be missed by guests or visitors. Space Farm is a clear area in the forest that houses 500 animals including ponies, deer, kangaroos, wolves and many more. The friendlier of the animals are out in the open and friends and families can have a great time interacting with these lovely animals. The Space Farm also has an attention-grabbing museum that displays civil war artifacts, antique cars, and toys.

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