Hiking Project Logo

Stony Lake to Sunrise Mountain

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.2 (5) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A great loop from Stony Lake to Sunrise Mountain via the Blue Mountain Trail, and back via the AT and Stony Brook Trail.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

8.9

Miles

14.3

KM

Loop

1,633' 498 m

High

915' 279 m

Low

1,061' 323 m

Up

1,075' 328 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

The trailhead is in the Stony Lake Day Use Area of Stokes. An entrance fee is required from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Overview

The hike starts in the lower sections of Stokes State Forest below the Kittatiny Ridge and then climbs up the side of Sunrise Mountain to the top of the ridge which has views to the east and west from the Sunrise Mountain pavilion. On the ridge it follows the AT downhill for 2.5 miles before returning back to the valley and on to the start.

The hike is in the forest for most of the time. Certain sections are rocky, probably old river beds, but no section is particularly difficult, nor is scrambling required.

Need to Know

Blue Mountain Trail is a new trail and is not on older maps, thus the use of the older trail names, which themselves may not be on the newer maps. The trail is well-blazed and currently new light blue blazes exist along side the older red (Swenson) and brown/red (Cartright) blazes.

Description

The trailhead is located at the Stokes State Forest Stony Lake Day Use Area (plenty of parking, no entrance fee Labor Day to Memorial Day) by the kiosk.

There are nice restrooms in the Kittle Field picnic area, a short drive from Stony Lake. When driving up Coursen Road from the park office turn left to Kittle Field before going to Stony Lake and park in the first lot. The restrooms are across the road in the picnic area.

The trail starts heading north on the new Blue Mountain Trail/Old Swenson Trail (light blue / red blazes). On the trail, you'll cross over yellow Tinsley Trail and pass a cabin.

Shortly thereafter, the Blue Mountain Trail leaves the Swenson Trail and joins the Cartwright Trail (brown/red blazes) turning to the right and heading east. The Cartwright Trail heads uphill crossing Crigger Road. After a viewpoint looking west, the Blue Mountain Trail leaves the Cartwright, which joins a blue/black connector trail continuing uphill.

Eventually, the trail ends at the AT (white blaze). Turn right, heading south, on the AT. You'll pass a parking area on the right; continue for a short while to the Sunrise Mountain pavilion with views to the east and west. This is a good place for lunch and for hawk watching in the fall.

From the pavilion, continue on the AT heading downhill. You'll again pass the yellow Tinsley Trail. Keep a lookout for the brown Stony Brook Trail coming in from the right; there will also be a sign for the AT shelter. Take the Stony Brook Trail downhill past the shelter to Sunrise Mountain Road. If you lose the trail at the road it will probably be to your left (look for the back of the brown signs on the roadside). Continue on the Stony Brook Trail back to the parking lot. You'll intersect with several other trails—continue on the brown blazed trail to finish out the hike.

Flora & Fauna

Hawks and vultures can be seen from Sunrise Mountain pavilion. The trail is heavily forested.

History & Background

The pavilion at the summit of Sunrise Mountain was built in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Contacts

Land Manager: NJ State Parks

Shared By:

Charles Behnken

Trail Ratings

  3.2 from 5 votes

#4230

Overall
  3.2 from 5 votes
5 Star
20%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
60%
2 Star
20%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#47

in New Jersey

#4,230

Overall
111 Views Last Month
1,232 Since Oct 5, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
50%
0%
50%
0%

Photos

A winter view of the AT in northern New Jersey
Dec 3, 2018 near Sussex, NJ
Many creeks and water sources
Jul 5, 2019 near Sussex, NJ
Downhill towards Stony Brook
Jul 5, 2019 near Sussex, NJ
View between sunrise overlook and the CCC pavilion.
Oct 29, 2016 near Sussex, NJ
Sunrise Mountain Pavilion
Oct 6, 2017 near Sussex, NJ
View from the Sunrise Mountain Pavilion, looking south on a section of Branchville, NJ
Oct 18, 2017 near Sussex, NJ

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Minor Issues 33 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Feb 23, 2020
Katie Levy
Did the extended loop to see the fire tower. Beautiful day! https://www.adventure-inspired.com/2020/03/stony-lake-sunrise-mountain.html 9.7mi — 4h 00m
Nov 16, 2019
Lou Poulas
Group hike - extended return route to Tower Trail. 10.2mi — 5h 09m
Apr 21, 2018
Yoshiyuki Takahashi
11mi — 7h 00m
Oct 21, 2017
Tom Fuller