Blue Mountain Loop Trail - Northern Section

Stokes State Forest

West-facing view from the Blue Mountain Loop Trail - Photo by Daniel Chazin West-facing view from the Blue Mountain Loop Trail - Photo by Daniel Chazin

This hike loops around the northern section of Stokes State Forest, climbing to two panoramic viewpoints and paralleling the scenic Big Flat Brook.

41.225962, -74.756389

This hike follows the northern section of the Blue Mountain Loop Trail, blazed with a blue dot on white. This trail, constructed by the park in the summer of 2015, incorporates a number of pre-existing trails, and as of this writing, the old blazes remain.

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Avenza App Map: Kittatinny 122

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Trip Reports

rate experience
April 07, 2020
5
Beautiful hike
This is a great loop with lots of variety - views, lots of stream crossings, wetlands, and a beautiful 2 mile section by the brook under evergreens.
STINTEA
December 17, 2019
0
Updated maps are definitely suggested!

I'm glad you had an enjoyable hike!  And I would definitely agree that the final stretch of this hike along the Big Flat Brook is beautiful, as I have visited that section several times through the years and also enjoy the peacefulness of those woods.

We would certainly suggest trying to keep up with the latest maps for parks in our area.  People are often surprised just how often trails can change, and we try to keep most of our maps updated on a 3-4 year cycle to keep up with the latest changes.  In this case, our Kittatinny Trails map set was revised in 2016, and especially for the Stokes State Forest area, it was a significant update that included these blaze changes related to the Blue Mountain Loop Trail.  We are currently working on a revision to the maps that will come out in 2020, and any additional blaze and trail changes in this area (such as sections that have old blazes removed, as you mentioned above) will be incorporated into this map update.  I've also taken a close look at the description, and for the 2nd issue you mentioned regarding the Cartwright Trail, the right turn off the red Swanson Trail is noted a couple paragraphs above the part you mentioned.  The left turn after the panoramic viewpoint is correctly described.

~Jeremy
Trail Conference Cartographer

Jeremy Apgar
December 16, 2019
4
2012 map useless
This was a tough hike to follow made worse by my outdated trail map. The 1st issue was at the outset where the description says "turn left at the next junction" to the Blue Mt. Loop Trail from the Tinsley trail. You have to watch carefully because it's a sudden left turn to pick up the BMLT otherwise you will continue to follow the joint Tinsley / BMLT in the wrong direction. The next issue in the hike description is at the Cartwright Trail. The description says turn left to continue following the blue on white blazes of the BMLT but the joint trails split here and the red blazes continue straight. You must turn right uphill along the stream to follow the blue on white blazes. Lastly, where the description states the grey on white blazes of the Howell Trail join from the left after turning off the eroded woods rd, that is a black dot on blue trail head now that does not join the BMLT. All the grey on white blazes have been removed until you get to the long bridge over the Big Flat Brook. Luckily the description states to follow the blue on white blazed BMLT for the entire hike , until picking up the the Tinsley again at the end. I probably would have taken some wrong trails based on my old map. All in all this is a very nice hike and Stokes is a beautiful park. The finale, along Big Flat Brook after crossing Crigger Rd, is one of the most scenic, tranquil stretches of trail you will ever hike.
rdgee65
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