Culver Ridge, formerly known as Normanook, is located in the heart of the Kittatinny Ridge, southwest of Sunrise Mtn.. in Stokes State Forest. Elevations on the ridge range from 1,200 ft to just over 1,500 ft. There are a few viewpoints along the ridge to the east and west. There is also a fire tower which gives sweeping 360 degree views of the area. The Appalachian Trail traverses the ridge on it's way to Sunrise Mtn.
The A.T. and it's location in Stokes State Forest make Culver a popular place in the Memorial to Labor Day Season. Even during the "off season" one can still expect to see someone else on the trails of Stokes. Besides the A.T there is one other trail the travels to the summit, the Tower Trail climbs from the Stony Lake Day Use Area to a spot on the A.T. 200 ft from the summit.
The Main entrance of Stoke State Forrest is on US Route 206 in Sussex County New Jersey. The Two main trail heads for Culver Ridge are the Appalachian Trail Parking Lot and the Stony Lake Day Use Area Parking Lot
To get to Stokes State Forest from I-80 take exit 25 and follow signs for 206 North
Follow 206 North through Andover, Newton, and Branchville.
Once you cross through Culver's Gap, follow signs for Stokes State Forrest Entrance. The Address is:
1 Coursen Road
Branchville, NJ 07826
Directions for Appalachian Trail Parking Lot:
After passing though Culver's Gap, follow signs for Sunrise Mountain Road (second right) the parking area is on the left just before the road turns into a one way road. The trail starts at the end of the parking lot. DO NOT PARK ON 206
Directions for Stony Lake Day Use Area Parking Lot:
Form the Main office of Stokes State Forest, proceed straight through a 4-way intersection and drive about 2 1/2 miles to a t-interection. Turn right. This road ends at the Stony Lake Day Use Area Parking Lot. The trails start near the parking lot entrance.
Camping is only allowed at designated sites. For A.T. hikes that means shelters. Stokes State Forest also rents campsites and cabins for a fee.
Stokes State Forest also charges an entrance fee.
Entrance fees are only charged from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
When To Climb
Culver Ridge is easy to hike year round via the A.T. The Tower Trail can be dangerous in winter becuse of ice and snow above some cliffs.