The Keyserkill High Point hike for the Scary 19, well, is somewhat dull if you run to the “high point” and back to your car. The high point is the high point in this forest preserve, but there is higher ground nearby. You’ll need to stay on public lands.
Keyserkill HP is really a ridge
Keyserkill High Point is technically the south ridge of the 2244 foot Stafford Hill some 0.85-miles north. If you were to park near the entrance on Campell Road, hike to the Scary 19 high point, and return, your distance would be about 2.6-miles. Although pretty, you would miss much by not traversing the state forest.
Hiking the state forest is scrappy
Traversing Keyserskill State Forest is surprisingly scrappy. The state forest has a mixed forest with plantations of spruce and Norwegian pines. Also, hemlock and sections of white birch are scattered throughout the forest. It has two streams that you’ll need to cross. Both creeks have many cascades. The streams can be easy or hard to traverse depending on the time of year. They are probably a trickle in the summer, but as we experienced during snowmelt, a torrent. There are a few ups and downs as you cross or climb ridges!
Keyserkill (HP) High Point hike specs
These specs are for a traverse going from Campbell Road to Guinea Road (see map at the bottom of the page). There are NO official parking lots, but roadside parking is allowed.
|about 5-miles (point-to-point)||about 670+ / 1275-||Scrappy|
|State land entrance||Campbell Road||Guinea Road|
Options and need to know
- Out and back from Campbell Road.
- Two cars, point to point from either Campbell Road or Guinea Road (harder).
- One car starting at Campbell Road or Guinea Road and a long and pretty road walk back to your vehicle (hardest).
Traversing the state forest requires good navigation skills. Although GPS will help, you cannot rely on it for several reasons. Knowledge of using a map and compass is critical.
Things to know if you traverse Keyserkill State Forest:
- Much of your hike will be off-trail.
- You will cross some woods road while bushwhacking.
- You can track private property to help navigate.
- You cross two streams.
- The hike is more scrappy than it looks on the map.
- The hike is probably best when the leaves are down.
- There are many excellent spots for at-large camping.
- Think twice before hiking this in big game season. We noticed three tree stands.
- There is a log cabin in plain sight by the high point; please stay on state land.
Photos of Keyserkill State Forest
We hiked from Campbell Road to Guinea Road.
Related hike: Leonard Hill and Hubbard Hill Two of the Scary 19
Video of Waterfall
Map for Keyserkill HP
Click on the map or here for an interactive version of the map.
Backwoods wanderer with a passion for backpacking, hiking, and exploring the wilds of the Catskills and Adirondacks in New York. A Catskill 3500 Club Member and Adirondack Forty-Sixer. Climbed Mount Rainier. Professionally an Exercise Physiologist.