Leonard Hill and Hubbard Hill Two of the Scary 19

Leonard Hill State Forest
Average read time 3 min

In Schoharie County, two peaks sitting side-by-side are Leonard and Hubbard Hill, two of the Scary 19. The mountains are situated in the northern Catskills in the Leonard Hill State Forest, and a road is seasonably driveable to Leonard Hill’s summit. The ability to drive to the top causes a good amount of trash to be left near the fire tower. If one wishes to enjoy these peaks, it is probably best done by hiking the road, not driving it. 

If one is physically challenged, driving to Leonard Hill’s summit will provide ground views of the surrounding area. The tall fire tower is now abandoned and not recommended for climbing. There was a movement underfoot years ago to have the fire tower restored. Unfortunately, this did not happen. The tower would provide outstanding views. Fortunately, there are views from a cut viewpoint at the summit of Leonard Hill. Who knows how long it will last, as, without regular cutting, it will grow back in.

The best time to hike these two peaks is when the leaves are off the trees. Beware, this parcel of state forest is very popular with hunters. It is probably best to avoid it during big game season.

Table Of Contents

Leonard and Hubbard Hill hike specs

Distance:Climbing:Difficulty:
About 3.2-miles590 feet round-tripEasy
Parking Leonard Mountain RdGoogle Maps

On the “trail.”

  1. Park on Leonard Mountain Road near the state land sign. Make sure you are pulled off to the side.
  2. Take the broad and obvious road into the state forest.
  3. Walk on gentle and undulating terrain for about 0.30-miles.
  4. The route will begin to gain elevation and at 0.60-miles reach a col between Hubbard Hill and an unnamed peak to the left.
  5. You will begin to climb Hubbard Hill’s shoulder from the col, but not over the summit. After you hike around Hubbard Hill, at 1.3-miles, you reach a col before your last climb to Leonard Hill’s summit. On your return, you’ll bushwhack from here over Hubbard Hill.
  6. At 1.6-miles, you reach the summit of Leonard Hill.

Photos of hike and views

The start of the road up Leonard Hill
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking The start of the road up Leonard Hill
Reaching just below some steeper climbing
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Red spruce trees
White pine
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking White pine

Another hike nearby: Best Hikes: Vroman’s Nose, Schoharie Valley NY

Climbing the road toward the Leonard Hill fire tower
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Climbing the road toward the Leonard Hill fire tower
Abandoned fire tower
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Abandoned fire tower
View of the Blackhead Range
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View of the Blackhead Range
View West
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking View West

Map of Leonard and Hubbard Hills

Click on the map or here for an interactive version of the map.

Map of Leonard and Hubbard Hill
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Map of Leonard and Hubbard Hill
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