The Ultimate Guide to Camping at Stokes State Forest

Posted on: June 8th, 2021 by

Have you ever been camping at Stokes State Forest?

I remember, back in the 80’s, that was where we all went as part of our 6th grade graduation activities. It was a class trip of sorts where we all stayed in cabins for a few nights. We had programs in the nature buildings and spent afternoons walking along the brooks. I remember it being magnificent and I couldn’t wait to return with my own kids.

Initially, I had reservations to camp in a cabin with my boys last summer. But when the pandemic hit, NJ State Parks were forced to cancel all camping reservations. I was so heartbroken. So this year, when camping at Stokes State Forest was allowed, I rushed to schedule a return trip. At the time, cabin rentals were not yet available so I booked us a tent site. My plan was for us to experience tent camping or car camping at Stokes State Forest.

2021 Chevy Silverado at Stokes State Forest front image

Thanks to a partnership with Chevy we were able to test drive a 2021 Chevy Silverado for our Stokes camping trip. It came in super handy as we did have to drive over some rocky terrain to park at our campsite. We also took advantage of the pick up bed to pitch our tent one night and we slept inside the cab for part of another night.

Camping as a family at Stokes State Forest can be a great experience, but first you must prepared. Here’s a look at our experience and what we learned. We’re sharing it with you so that you too can have incredible experiences at one of NJ’s most beautiful state parks.

2021 Chevy Silverado at Stokes State Forest boy works to unload truck

As we tell you about our experience camping at Stokes State Forest, we’ll also share details about camping products we tested on our trip. We feel these products can make camping as a family more enjoyable. Therefore, we’re including affiliate links to them so that you can purchase them yourself before your next camping trip. We do participate in affiliate programs so if you make a purchase using those links we may earn a small commission.

Stokes State Forest entrance sign

Where are the campgrounds for camping at Stokes State Forest?

Stokes State Forest has 5 areas for camping. They include Lake Ocquittunk, Shotwell camping area, Haskins camping area, Lake Ashroe camping area, and the Steam Mill area. We camped at a tent site at Lake Ocquittunk.

What kind of camping accommodations does Stokes State Forest have?

Lake Ocquittunk

The Lake Ocquittunk campground has 26 family sites and 13 cabins and many of the sites are either on the lake or next to the babbling Flatbrook river. We had tent location #4. It looked like it was on the river/lake but it turns out it wasn’t. To be near the lake I would recommend tent/trailer sites 6 through 11. To be near the river, rent tent sites 13, 14, 25, or 26. While we didn’t stay in the cabins it looks like cabins 2 through 6 are right on the lake.

Tent site 4 at Lake Ocquittunk Camping area at Stokes State Forest

If you want a little more space for camping at Stokes State Forest, I would recommend reserving a trailer site. I felt compared to our tent site the trailer site had more room and flatter ground.

  • Cabins
    • Ten furnished cabins include wood stove; two single beds; one double-deck bunk; kitchen with cold and hot running water, refrigerator, electric stove; half-bath with toilet and sink and electric lights. Each cabin at Stokes State Forest can accommodate at least four people.
    • Cabins 7 & 12 can sleep up to eight people. Facilities are the same as other cabins, except they include a shower and hot and cold running water. Cabin 7 has a fireplace and Cabin 12 has a wood stove. These two cabins are handicap accessible.
    • Group Cabin 13 has space to sleep twelve people. There are two sleeping areas and two full bathrooms and a fireplace.
  • Tents – Most tent sites can accommodate up to 6 people, 2 cars, and 2 tents
  • 3 (12×14) platform tent sites
  • Trailer sites – Trailer sizes vary from 15 feet to 35 feet for Stokes State Forest campsites and they do not offer any hook ups or dump stations. Confirm maximum trailer size for your size before choosing your site.
Our camping at Stokes State Forest involved pitching our tent on the back of a 2021 Chevy Silverado.
Our camping at Stokes State Forest involved pitching our tent on the back of a 2021 Chevy Silverado.

Shotwell camping area

The Shotwell camping area contains 29 family sites for tents and trailers and 9 enclosed lean-tos.

  • Tents – Most tent sites can accommodate up to 6 people, 2 cars, and 2 tents
  • 6 (12×14) platform tent sites
  • Trailer sites – Trailer sizes vary from 15 feet to 35 feet for Stokes State Forest campsites and they do not offer any hook ups or dump stations. Confirm maximum trailer size for your size before choosing your site.
  • Lean-Tos – Approximate dimensions are 10′ x 12′ and have a wood stove inside for heat. Lean-tos accommodates up to 6 people, including children

It looks like trailer sites 132-134 are across the street from a small pond.

Haskins camping area

The Haskins area has 9 group sites, which can accommodate groups from 10 up to 65 people.

  • Tents – Most tent sites can accommodate up to 6 people, 2 cars, and 2 tents
  • Trailer sites – Trailer sizes vary from 15 feet to 35 feet for Stokes State Forest campsites and they do not offer any hook ups or dump stations. Confirm maximum trailer size for your size before choosing your site.
  • Group Campsites

Lake Ashroe camping area

The Lake Ashroe camping area has 2 sets of group lean-tos and 1 group camping site.

  • Group tent sites
  • Group lean-to sites

The group tent site appears to be right on Lake Ashroe.

Steam Mill area

The Steam Mill are provides for a more primitive and wilderness experience. It has 27 campsites for tents or trailers.

  • Tents – Most tent sites can accommodate up to 6 people, 2 cars, and 2 tents
  • Trailer sites – Trailer sizes vary from 15 feet to 35 feet for Stokes State Forest campsites and they do not offer any hook ups or dump stations. Confirm maximum trailer size for your size before choosing your site.
A bearbutt double hammock hangs from trees at a Stokes State Forest campsite
There were lots of trees to hang our Bearbutt double hammock from.

What does it cost to camp at Stokes State Forest?

There is a non-refundable service fee of $5.00 for each camping reservation. Camping fees do not include admission into Stokes State Forest, though you can get to many of the campgrounds without needing to pass the admission booth where fees are collected. Stokes State Forest charges $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.

  • Tent Campsites are $20 a night for NJ residents and $25 a night for non-NJ residents.
  • Trailer and RV Campsites are $20 a night for NJ residents and $25 a night for non-NJ residents.
  • Cabin rentals start at $55 a night for NJ residents and $65 a night for non-NJ residents.
  • Lean-tos are $35 a night for NJ residents and $40 a night for non-NJ residents.
  • Group campsites are $60 a night for NJ residents and $120 a night for non-NJ residents.
  • Group lean-tos are $105/125 a night for NJ residents and $120/150 a night for non-NJ residents.

What’s included at the campsites?

  • At the tent sites there is space for 2 tents.
  • At the trailer sites your reservation allows you to bring a trailer up to 15-35 feet.
  • Most camp reservations allow you to have two cars at your campsite.
  • Fire ring (usually with a grill plate above the back portion of the fire ring.)
  • Picnic table
  • Some campsites include a charcoal grill
Campsites at Stokes State Forest include a fire ring

What’s not included with campground reservations?

  • Admission to Stokes State Forest is not included with campground reservations. However, some campgrounds like Lake Ocquittunk are located outside the area of the office and would not need a separate admission fee. Stokes State Forest charges $5 per vehicle on weekdays and $10 per vehicle on weekends/holidays.
  • Firewood is not provided, but can be purchased at the park office during business hours. The office is open Mondays through Saturdays, 8 am to 4 pm.
  • There are not trash cans at the campsites, but there are dumpsters in each camp area. It’s recommended that you keep your trash bags inside your car until you can dispose of it at a dumpster. Trash can be a temptation for bears in the area.
  • Water source – All areas have running potable (drinkable) water within a walking distance. It is usually with a water spigot.
  • Charcoal is not provided for grills.
  • Bedding is not included with cabin reservations. Additionally cabins do not have towels, cooking utensils or small appliances such as a coffee maker, toaster or microwave.
Firewood can be purchased at the Stokes State Forest office

Do the Stokes State Forest campsites have restrooms?

Lake Ocquittunk

The Lake Ocquittunk campground has flush restrooms located in a building. There were 4 individual restrooms that face outwards with locking doors. There is a parking lot outside the building so campers can drive up and park to use the restroom. Camping sites 4 and 5 are closest to the restroom.

Lake Ocquittunk Camping area at Stokes State Forest restroom and shower building

Shotwell camping area

The Shotwell camping area has flush restrooms and pit toilets. Lean-To 24 is the closest campsite to the restroom.

Haskins camping area

The Haskins area has flush restrooms. There are 3 restroom buildings at Haskins camping area at Stokes State Forest. Group campsites B, E, and F are located across from restrooms. Sites H and I sit on opposite sides of a restroom building.

Lake Ashroe camping area

The Lake Ashroe camping area has flush restrooms.

Steam Mill area

The Steam Mill area has pit toilets.

Do the Stokes State Forest campsites have showers?

Lake Ocquittunk

The Lake Ocquittunk campground has showers. There were at least 4 individual showers that face outwards with locking doors. In the showers there were hooks for hanging towels and space to get dressed that was within the space but outside of the shower area. There is a parking lot outside the building so campers can drive up and park to use the restroom. Camping sites 4 and 5 are closest to the showers.

Shotwell camping area

The Shotwell camping area does not have showers.

Haskins camping area

The Haskins area has showers. Group campsite E is closest to the showers.

Lake Ashroe camping area

The Lake Ashroe camping area has showers.

Steam Mill area

The Steam Mill area does not have showers.

Are pets allowed at Stokes State Forest?

There are camping sites at Stokes State Forest that allow campers to bring pets. As you make your reservation look for sites listed as pet friendly. You can also select ‘pet-friendly’ as a filter option when looking for a campsite.

Are there bears at Stokes State Forest?

Yes, the Stokes State Forest website says this.

Black bears are present in New Jersey. During your stay, all coolers, food and anything with a scent must be kept in the closed trunk of your vehicle at all times. Garbage should be promptly removed from your campsite and put in the appropriate trash receptacle.

Stokes State Forest website

We read that initially and thought that was the standard disclosure for camping anywhere. It may be, but Stokes State Forest is in bear country. There were signs on trees and tables at our campsite. While I wasn’t aware of how much a threat they could be, I did appreciate the warnings.

Lake Ocquittunk Camping area at Stokes State Forest picnic tables have bear warning signs

We made sure that we followed the precautions. All food and trash were kept inside the 2021 Chevy Silverado we brought camping. We also made sure to wash our plates and cooking wear after every meal. I wiped down our Hero grill after it had a chance to cool. We also covered our picnic table with a tarp so that too would be easy to clean after each meal.

During our Stokes camping trip we did not see any bears or hear of any encounters with bears either.

Boys pose with stuffed bear at Stokes State Forest
The safe way to get a picture with a bear is at the Stokes State Forest office.

Advice for picking a spot for camping at Stokes State Forest

Yes, camping at Stokes State Forest had been on my family bucket list for a long time and yet I still wasn’t as prepared as I could have been. It was our family’s first ‘real’ tent camping experiencing outside of tent camping at Diggerland or cabin camping at other campgrounds in New Jersey. Here are a few tips that helped us have a good experience and some that could make yours better than ours.

Look at the Stokes State Forest map

Looking at the Stokes State Forest map of their campgrounds is the best way to determine if the campsite you are reserving is in close proximity to the amenities and attractions important to you. For example, if a campsite doesn’t look like it’s right next to the water, it likely isn’t. Some Stokes State Forest campsites are in heavily forested areas so while you may be near the lake, you might not be able to see it from your campsite.

Make a test drive to the campsite

If it’s possible to visit the Stokes State Forest campgrounds before you book a recommendation I highly recommend it. We hadn’t and I wished we would have. While our campsite was beautiful, we would have preferred a larger area and to have been closer to the water.

I also would have opted for a campsite with less boulders. Those boulders made it difficult to walk across the campsite, especially at night. These are the kind of things you can look for when you visit the campgrounds in person. You wouldn’t be able to tell that from a map and with so many campsites to manage I am sure the staff can’t remember all the details of every particular one.

All tent and trailer sites are priced the same so go for the one you want, but again try to visit beforehand. If you’ll be in the area for something else make time to visit Stokes State Forest to see the campgrounds. Stokes State Forest is free from the day after Labor Day till the weekend before Memorial Day. Outside of that time there would be a small fee to visit.

2021 Chevy Silverado at Stokes State Forest back end of truck

Know your availability

When booking a reservation for camping at Stokes State Forest, know your availability. Have a few different dates in mind and be flexible. You may need to go back and forth with the camping reservation site to find a camping site you want available at a time you want. If you’ve done your homework and know which site you want that will save you some time in searching available dates.

There is a 2 night minimum for tent and trailer camping at Stokes State Forest and you can reserve a campsite for up to 14 nights. Cabins are a 2 night minimum rental before Memorial Day weekend and after Labor Day. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day cabins are a 7 night minimum rental.

Call and ask questions

The website for camping at Stokes State Forest is not the easiest to use. You can find some helpful information at https://www.njparksandforests.org/parks/stokesstateforest.html. Other information is available at https://www.njportal.com/DEP/NJOutdoors though it can be hard to find. If you ever have any questions you can call Stokes State Forest at 973-948-3820. Keep in mind that Stokes staff and park rangers may be out performing other duties when you call. If you don’t reach a live person give a call back at a later time. I found them to be pretty helpful when I called.

Make your reservation early

Booking camping reservations with New Jersey State Parks can be difficult. They book up really early. For 2021, it’s especially difficult, but not impossible, given the current restrictions.

Tent sites at Lake Ocquittunk and Shotwell are open year round. Stokes State Forest is accepting reservations until December 15. Tent sites at Steam Mill are open from May 1 to October 31, 2021. Group sites at Haskins will be open from June 18-October 31, 2021. Group Sites at Lake Ashroe are currently closed.

Lean-tos at Shotwell will open as of June 4, 2021 and cabins will open as of June 18, 2021 for Friday night and Saturday night reservations only, in addition to Sunday, July 4, Sunday, September 5 and Sunday, October 11. Reservations can be made until December 15, 2021. Group Lean-tos remain closed.

To make a camping reservation at New Jersey State Parks visit www.njportal.com/DEP/NJOutdoors.

A sign shows the campsite availability for Stokes State Forest

Cooking while camping at Stokes State Forest

Of course you can cook over a campfire while camping at Stokes State Forest or in your trailer if it has a kitchen. Cabin campers can cook in their cabin’s kitchen. But for an easy cooking-while-camping experience try the Fire & Flavor Hero Grill System. We were sent one to review for our Let’s Camp! – Camping Gear that Makes Camping with Kids Easy guide (coming soon) and I can say I truly love it. It has resolved one of my biggest concerns about camping, the cooking.

Hero Grill chicken nuggets on the grill horizontal image

With this portable grill, I was able to confidently cook my boys chicken nuggets, grilled chicken, mini pizzas, and oatmeal. It’s small enough to carry around in a traveling case and large enough to cook several hot dogs, chicken fingers, 4 mini pizzas/burgers/chicken patties. The Hero grill uses disposable charcoal trays. Simply light the four corners and about 10 minutes later you are ready to cook. The included meat thermometer provides added confidence as you always know what temperature your grill is at. The thermometer is also removable so you can test your meal before serving to make sure it’s at a safe temperature to eat.

A family size meal kit

We also tested out the full kitchen 21 piece Adventure Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook Set on our camping trip. I love that Stanley sent me this to review. It’s perfect for a family of four. Get two if you are traveling with more than 4 people. This camp cooking kit reminds me of the classic mess kit I had as a younger camper, only it’s better. It includes everything you could need to cook a meal except for the food and heat.

All 21 pieces of this camp cooking set fit in nicely together in a pot that fits in my lap. The set includes

  • 1 18/8 stainless steel pot (3.7 QT / 3.5 L)
  • 1 Vented lid
  • 1 3-ply frying pan holds 32 OZ / .94 L
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 Spatula with extending handle, 2 pieces snaps together
  • 1 Serving spoon with extending handle, 2 pieces snaps together
  • 4 Plates (6 in / 15.2 cm diameter)
  • 4 Bowls (22 OZ / .65 L)
  • 4 Sporks
  • 1 Dish drying rack
  • 1 Trivet
  • 1 Locking bungee

What is there to do while camping at Stokes State Forest

Hiking

Stokes State Forest has a plethora of hiking trails. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just looking for a nature walk you can find it at Stokes. There are 24 marked trails from a half mile long to just over 17 miles long rated from easy to difficult. Expect to experience terrains ranging from flat lowlands to rocky mountains. Since many of the trails connect, you can plan to spend an hour or a full day hiking.

Stony Brook Falls area at Stokes States Forest
  • A 12-mile section of the Appalachian Trail that follows the Kittatinny Mountain Ridge through Stokes State Forest.
  • The Acropolis Trail along the Kittatinny Mountains provides outstanding views of the surrounding landscape.
  • The Swenson Trail offers scenic vistas of the Kittatinny Valley to the east and the Delaware River Valley to the west from the top of Sunrise Mountain.

Explore the Stokes State Forest trail map and plan your hiking route to fun.

View the waterfalls

In addition to wanting to return to a campground that brought back wonderful memories from my youth, I also wanted to see the hiking trails with waterfalls in New Jersey that are part of the Stokes State Forest. Getting to see them was a big motivation for this camping trip. You can learn more about both of these waterfalls in our guide to the Best Hiking Trails with Waterfalls in New Jersey.

Stony Brook Falls

We found the Stony Brook Falls waterfall the more difficult of the two waterfall hiking trails at Stokes State Forest. We did the longer loop that included the Silver Mine Trail, Blue Mountain Trail, and Stony Brook Trail. There was challenging terrain with boulders about 6 inches to 2 feet in length that jutted out of the ground 3 to 8 inches.

Stony Brook Falls area at Stokes States Forest

We’re not really sure if we found the steeper waterfall. When we arrived at a point, where we thought it would be, (Silver Mine Trail meets Blue Mountain Trail) the area was muddy. We could see how a waterfall could go through there but perhaps the lack of rainfall had dried it out. We weren’t sure and there was no signage to let us know either way.

Boy stands on boulders of stream at Stony Brook Falls area at Stokes States Forest

We do believe we found the smaller waterfall, the Stepping Stone Falls. It was pretty. If you are camping during the midsummer I’d recommend just parking at the Kittle Field parking area and heading northwest on the Stony Brook Trail. You’ll see the Stepping Stone Falls quickly and can then determine whether or not to proceed to find the steeper waterfall.

Tillman Falls

This was the easier of the two waterfalls to find and to get to at Stokes State Forest. If you only have time for one waterfall hike at Stokes this is the one to do. Park at the second parking lot for the Tillman Ravine, and you won’t have far to walk to see the waterfalls. Though, I will warn you there are some slightly steep inclines. As you get closer to the waterfall the ground is angled, ridged rock so be sure to be wearing appropriate footwear. It’s definitely worth the effort to see it. It’s magnificent!

Tillman falls, a waterfall hike at Stokes State Forest

If you decide to walk the entire Tillman Ravine Trail it’s 1-2 miles in length and overlaps part of the Appalachian Trail.

Tillman falls, a waterfall hike at Stokes State Forest

Swimming

Swimming is not permitted in any of the lakes at Stokes State Forest. Swimming is permitted at nearby High Point State Park when lifeguards are on duty. It’s expected that High Point State Park will open for swimming mid-June.

Traditional Fishing

Stocked annually with trout, campers and visitors can fish at Lake Ashroe, Lake Ocquittunk, and Stony Lake at Stokes State Forest.

Stokes State Forest Big Flatbrook area boy fishing

Kayaking and Canoeing

Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and small boats with electric motors are allowed at Lake Ocquittunk and Lake Ashore at Stokes State Forest. Rentals are not available at Stokes so be prepared to bring your own. Local boating laws will apply. There is no boat ramp, but there are areas where it would be easy to enter the lakes with a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard.

Biking

Strap on that bike rack and bring those bikes. Stokes State Forest offers more than 63 miles of marked trails for biking. Trails vary in length, from one half mile to seventeen miles long. Terrains range from flat lowlands to rocky mountains. Since so many of the biking trails connect, you can make your biking adventure last anywhere from an hour to a full day.

Bird watching

You can certainly watch the birds and wildlife from your campsite, but Stokes State Forest offers other amazing areas for bird watching. You can search for endangered species, like the threatened barred owl, as you sit and watch the waterfall at the Tillman Ravine. In the spring and fall, visit Sunrise Mountain to watch the hawk migration.

a brook leads into waterfalls at tillman ravine at Stokes State forest
Watch for birds along the Tillman Ravine

Scenic Drives

Considering Stokes State Forest is a forest, you can certainly spend some time in your car taking in the scenic views as you drive throughout the state park. The area is lush with tall trees towering high above. You never know what you might find. On our camping trip to Stokes State Forest we saw a family of deer cross our path on the way to Tillman Ravine. We saw a badger at our campsite and on our way to Stony Brook Falls and our camping neighbor had a large snapping turtle make its way across their campsite and into the lake.

Stokes State Forest scenic road

Watch the sunrise at Sunrise Mountain

Sunrise Mountain is the 2nd highest mountain in New Jersey and is accessible from a parking lot. At 1,653 feet above sea level and with 360-degrees of views of the Delaware River Valley, Pennsylvania, High Point Mountain, and farmlands of Sussex County, it’s a popular spot for visitors to Stokes State Forest.

Sunrise Mountain Road is closed to vehicles seasonally from December 15 to April 15, or when conditions are hazardous due to weather.

Nature Programs

What could be easier than participating in a Stokes State Forest as a way to have fun while camping. Visit the New Jersey State Park Service Calendar of Events to find out what upcoming programs they have and if any will be occurring during your camping trip. The New Jersey State Park Service also offers self-guided activities.

Winter activities at Stokes State Forest

If you go camping at Stokes State Forest in the winter, there are still plenty of activities to do. You’ll need to bring your own equipment or look for rentals in the area.

  • Snowmobiling
  • Ice fishing
  • Snow Shoeing
  • Cross Country skiing

Other amenities and things to do at Stokes State Forest

  • Ball field
  • Basketball court – A sports field is located across the street from the picnic shelter at Kittle Field.
  • Playground – Playgrounds and a small open fields are located at the Stone Lake and Kittlefield area.
  • Stargazing
  • Volleyball
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking – Stokes State Forest offers two picnic areas, Stony Lake and Kittle Field.
  • Horseshoe pits are located in all Haskins group camp sites, Stony Lake. Keep in mind those group campsites may be reserved and you will need to bring your own horseshoes and stakes.
Stokes State Forest Kittle Field Playground

What do you need for camping at Stokes State Forest?

Gear

We mentioned some of the camping gear we tested out on this trip earlier in this article. Coming soon we’ll have more recommendations in our Let’s Camp! – Camping Gear that Makes Camping with Kids Easy guide.

Most often forgotten camping gear

  • Tarps and drop cloths for under your tent.
  • A regular lighter for campfires. Don’t rely on regular matches to work.
  • Roasting sticks, chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers
  • Insect repellant
  • Butter spray for spraying any pans you might be cooking with

Yes, you really need it camping gear

  • Air mattress with pump, if you are doing tent camping for the first time or it’s been a while I’d highly recommend an air mattress for sleeping on.
  • Portable 5 gallon water jug – Fill it once and avoid multiple trips to the water supply.
  • Hero grill
  • Back up lighter
  • ‘Cheater’ fire log – Cause sometimes that firewood just won’t light up. Get one of those fire logs that lights up easily.
boys play volleyball at Stokes State Forest campsite

Games

You’re likely not camping alone and you probably don’t want to take your kids camping just to have them stare at their screens. Make sure you pack some travel games or outdoor games you can play with your kids.

Scrabble-Slam-from-Hasbro-Gaming-a-spin-off-of-the-classic-scrabble-game-3

Memory makers

This is where I get to plug our own New Jersey State Park Family Travel Journal. With 2 pages dedicated to each NJ State Park, your kids will never forget the state parks you’ve taken them to explore. There’s space for a family picture or a drawing. We also make it easy for kids to write down their favorite part, who was with them, and more. Get each kid their own New Jersey State Park Family Travel Journal.

4 Things I wish I knew before camping at Stokes State Forest

  • Not all campsites are created equal. I found that while pretty our particular tent site seemed to be smaller than others. I think that is the nature of tent spaces versus trailer spaces. There was lots of lush greenery and small boulders throughout the space making it difficult to find a flat space to pitch a tent and challenging to bring a car in and out. We had tent space 4 at Lake Ocquittunk.
Lake Ocquittunk Camping area 4 at Stokes State Forest
  • Stokes State Forest is in bear county. Yes, there was information and a warning about bears on the Stokes State Forest website, but I thought that was the standard disclosure for all state park campgrounds. We did follow all the safety precautions and we never saw bears. Yet, we still had a sense of fear at night about the bears. For my family, we would have been more comfortable in a cabin.
  • Lighters are better and always bring two. I brought matches with me to light our grill. Unfortunately, the matches could not hold a flame long enough to light the charcoal for our grill. I had to run out and visit a local store to get a lighter. Sadly, that lighter did not work and I found myself running out again to a second store for a lighter.
  • Always create a checklist of what you need to bring. I didn’t and as a result I forgot a few things like the lighter, graham crackers for s’mores, and spray to grease our cooking pans.
Stokes State Forest Big Flatbrook area

What would you add?

Have you been camping at Stokes State Forest? Do you think we left out something important? If so, let us know in the comments below and we’ll get it added here.

To make a camping reservation at New Jersey State Parks or to learn more visit www.njportal.com/DEP/NJOutdoors.

2021 Chevy Silverado at Stokes State Forest boys sit on the back of the pick up bed

Learn more about New Jersey’s State Parks

Don’t visit New Jersey State Parks without reviewing our guide to the best state parks in New Jersey and our list of things you need to know.

Posted in: All, Things to do in New Jersey, Things to do in North Jersey

Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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