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Hike the AT to Culvers Lookout Tower

Sandyston, New Jersey



3.2 miles

Route Type



Added by John Clairmont

Experience a great hike to the tower where a beautiful 360 degree view of New Jersey awaits you.

Start your journey in Stokes State Forest at the Culver Gap Parking Lot, located at 41.180239, -74.787954. From the parking lot, jump on over to the Appalachian Trail and hike Northbound. You know you're headed the right way if you are going away from the small town and cross over Sunrise Mountain Rd after about 800 ft on the trail. The hike to the Tower is about 1.6 miles from the parking lot along the Appalachian Trail.

Culvers Lookout Tower, originally known as Normanook Fire Tower, was constructed in the early 1900s. The current structure was built in 1933 but is still maintained and in use today, though it is only manned during high fire risk times. You can climb up the stairs to get a great view and some photo opportunities, though unless it is manned you will not be able to get in the tower itself. If it is manned, I suggest requesting permission before entering the structure as some employees are more welcome to visitors than others.

For an additional adventure, you can continue hiking Northbound on the AT to the Sunrise Mountain Pavilion for about 3.3 miles, or you can return to your car and drive Sunrise Mountain Rd all the way to the parking lot and from there it is a very short hike up to the pavilion. You can also make this a one way trip if you bring two cars and park one at the Culver Gap parking lot and one at the Sunrise Mountain parking lot. No matter what you choose, take your time and enjoy the scenery, wildlife, and experience!

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Picnic Area

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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