Acropolis Trail

Acropolis Trail, Stokes State Forest (3/17/2012)

Four years ago we hiked the AT west of Culvers Gap. We did an out-and-back to Brink's Road in a dense fog so stubborn that it didn't lift the entire 4.5 hours we were on the ridge, so all of the views were hidden. Last night I decided we'd give it another try, since the weather was to be partly cloudy, partly sunny. As luck would have it, we awoke this morning to a dense fog! Forecasts had it lifting by mid-morning, but when we arrived at Culvers Gap it was thicker than ever. I had a circuit in mind which first climbed the ridge and then returned along Kittatinny Lake. We decided to hike it in reverse, hoping the fog would lift by the time we reached the ridge.

Once again we parked at the large parking area on Route 636, and headed west along the AT. After crossing Route 206 we walked along the road on the southern bank of Kittatinny Lake on a very pleasant stretch. Only one car drove past us on the enchanting lane, peppered with lovely cottages overlooking the lake. At the western tip of the lake we headed into Stokes State Forest through a fire gate on a woods road (labeled simply "Woods Road" on the NYNJTC map). This we took west all the way to another woods road labeled "Coss Road" which we took north and then headed east on the Steffen Trail. At the intersection with the relatively new Red Maple Trail we headed south. We descended sharply on the Red Maple back to Woods Road, crossing it and then began climbing the ridge. The trail ended at the mid-point of Jacob's Ladder trail which we then took south up the ridge to the AT, next heading east. By the time we got to our first vista the fog had lifted! It was cloudy but the views are amazing. Continuing east we picked up the Acropolis trail via an unmaintained connecting path. The views north from the Acropolis trail were magnificent as the sun finally began to shine. We then winded down the ridge along the Acropolis before finally heading east on the AT back to the car. [Examining the map more closely after arriving home, it occurred to me that we probably missed another vista on the Acropolis trail overlooking Culvers Lake, just below an antenna shack at the top of the ridge. Oh well. Next time, I suppose.]

Total distance hiked today was 6.6 miles in 4 hours.

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In the parking lot

The AT!

[Photo by Laura]

Gorgeous lichen

Heading west on AT

Poison ivy and AT blaze

At Route 206 crossing


Amazing carved totem

Kittatinny Lake beach

The lane along the lake

Houses on Kittatinny Lake

Interesting house

Beautiful log cabin

Large stump

Creek at western tip of lake

Fire gate for woods road

Log lichen

Huge tree in middle of road

Heading west




Beech color

Red Maple blaze

View of cottages on lake

Contemplating the ridge

Dew drops


Descending on ...

... Red Maple trail

Colors on Red Maple

Boundary wall

Creek crossing

[Photo by Laura]


Climbing Jacob's Ladder

Almost at the top

Dan below [Photo by Laura]

End of Jacob's Ladder

On the AT

Fire damage

Partial views NW


View of Normanook

Unobstructed ...

... views of ...

... Culvers Lake

Critter tracks

View east

Zoom to houses on Culvers Lake


Culvers Lake

View north

Lake Owassa

View west

View towards PA

Route 206


Checking email

Turkey vulture

Antenna shack on Acropolis trail

Kittatinny Lake from ridge

Kittatinny Lake

View west from Acropolis trail

Normanook Mountain

Culvers Lake

Normanook Lookout Tower

Cairn view NW

[Photo by Laura]

Culvers Lake

Descending on Acropolis trail


Telephone line cut

Blooms over Culvers Lake

Various ...

... views ...

... of Culvers Lake ...

... from the AT

Rocky AT

Nice descent

A very rocky AT

"You are in Bear Country!"


We descended from the mountain in back

Gorgeous pines


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