Stonetown Circular Trail is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stonetown, NJ that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
We did the 'extended' loop from the ball field going counter clockwise. The extended loop follows the highlands trail crossing the road at the dam then coming up the backside of Harrison Mountain on the red blaze trail. The hike was great and we had great weather (mostly cloudy ~80 degrees). It took ~6.5-7 hrs to complete with a few quick breaks mixed in. As others have said, this is a vigorous hike so go prepared and plan on being sore for a few days after. The Highlands Trail portion was very rewarding with a number of nice look out points. The backside of the loop didn't have as many views and was marred by numerous ATV trails, but there are a few quiet glades to keep you motivated. Lots of wild life sightings as well: toads, deer, raptors, and discarded opossum and deer bones. I also had my own personal swarm of mosquitoes to keep me company for awhile. The trail is easy to lose if you are distracted so make sure you keep an eye on the blazes; we had to back track 50 feet or so a few times to find the 'right' trail. Also, we did hear a lot of semi-automatic small arms fire while going through the Norvin Green State Forest section. Just as we started to get nervously close and signal that we were in the area, the trail turned and headed in the opposite direction. Just something to keep in mind when going through multi-use areas. Overall, a great hike and would definitely do it again. It could be a good training hike when preparing for a bigger trip.
Did the full 10 miles. Brutal! However gorgeous and a must do again.
Good trail, great views. The climb up Windbeam from the street is murder, but if you can handle it, it's fun.