Hiking through Stokes State Forest

Let’s begin that we our casual hikers.  A good hike for us is 4-5 miles and a long hike is 7 miles…We clocked this one  in at between 9.5 and 10 miles on our FitBit.  Our longest hike together and probably the longest hike I have been on for fifteen years. Capture Moderate/Difficult is what it is listed at.  We agree. Map – Best to print out the one from the site the hiking trail map Stokes State Forest North.  I did not and used the general one which was not as helpful. Critters along the way:  Birds, and eastern (red-spotted) newt (please correct me reader if I am wrong in my identification). I loved getting down at ground level at taking pictures of him – apparently they are pretty common in this area. Starting Point – Follow Skellenger Road over a bridge (closed to cars) that connects the cabin area to the main camping area. At the junction of Skellenger and Skellenger (confusing) follow signs for the one that take you to the NJ State School of Conversation.   Stay on this road until you see the turn off for the Tinsley Trail to your right. It is about .8 miles from cabins to trail. Follow Tinsley Trail (Yellow) to Swenson Trail (Red) and turn left.  (It was suggested from another hiking site that this approach was better – and I agree). Then take Swenson Trail to a right on to the Catwright trail (Brown Red Trail.  (along the way you pass the neat old cabin) The Cartwright trails along the Kittatinny Mountain Ridge  is where the image was taken looking west to the Delaware River. Be forewarned Cartwright is rocky and overgrown. ridge Eventually you meet up the with the Appalachian Trail and hike that past the Sunrise Mountain Overlook until turning right unto Tinsley. Ending Point:  We then followed Tinsley back to Skellenger road to our cabin. End Report:    It was nice starting at the campgrounds – right  from our cabin.  It was certainly more difficult then our past hikes – It is rocky both in the flat areas and when going uphill causing difficult for those with knee trouble.  However, once reaching the summit of Sunrise Mountain looking West- the view is amazing and well worth the climb.    It is also a nice loop,   meeting up with the Appalachian and checking out the view at Sunrise Mountain looking east to  Kittatinny Valley.

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