Tower Loop Trail is a 4.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Branchville, NJ that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Mt Laurel in Bloom, Streams, Views, Fire Tower, Swamps This is another good after work hike that I like to do. The loop starts out on the Appalachian trail and then takes you onto Sunrise Mt RD. Walk Sunrise Mt Rd a short distance to the Coursen trail. Once on the Coursen Tr. you will pass through a damp and cool forest consisting of Hemlock, Mt Laurel, Rhododendrons, and streams. The forest then turns into a hardwood forest with a swamp and a view of the Kittatinny Ridge. From the Coursen Tr. you will then get on the Tower Tr. At first you will go through a stand of spruce and then you cross a stream and start your rocky climb, through a hardwood Forest, to the top of the Kittatinny Ridge and Culvers fire Tower, were you will be rewarded with some great views of the Poconos and Delaware River Valley. From the top of the ridge you will take the Appalachian Tr. South along the ridge with some limited views and back to the parking area.
This is a winner because of the payoff of the fire tower at the end. I don't know if you are technically allowed to go up but it's irresistible for the views of the lakes! Very rocky trail like most in NJ.
Did the loop as an out and back (Culvers gap parking lot to tower, and back the same way) with some friends from work & two dogs. The trail was well marked and easy to follow, there were some nice views to be had if you ventured off the main trail onto a few short side paths. I want to go back again on a better day - the sky was very overcast today so the views weren't as great as I know they can be.
One of my favorite trails in the region. Nice gain, mildly technical, and it hooks up with the AT so you catch a lot of thru and section hikers. If the rangers are away, the tower's in play if you're looking for a better view ;)