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Hiking in Schoharie County
The 1617 acre Leonard Hill State Forest is located near Broome Center in southeastern Schoharie County. The main feature is an old fire tower that still stands on the summit of the 2605 foot Leonard Hill. The bottom steps of the fire tower have been removed, so there is no way to climb the tower. A 1.6 mile truck trail leads to a overlook and the fire tower. The view includes the Blenheim-Gilboa Reservoir and Utsayantha Mountain in the distance. There are a couple of primitive campsites located near the fire tower.
The start of the fire tower truck trail is off gravel Leonard Mountain Road. To reach the start of the truck trail from NY 30 take NY 990V over Schoharie Creek and by the Gilboa Dam, left on Flat Creek Road aka County Route 17. Follow County Route 17 to Broome Center and then turn right on Leonard Mountain Road. Follow Leonard Mountain Road 1.3 miles to the start of the dirt Fire Tower Truck Trail to Leonard Hill on your right. There is a DEC sign on the corner. The GPS coordinates are N42 27.153 W74 19.896 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle.
You can either walk the 1.6 miles to the fire tower or you can drive along the truck trail. The truck trail can be driven on by most vehicles. When I drove on it in May 2012, the road was well maintained. What we liked about this state forest was the view and the campsite overlooking the Schoharie Creek Valley. The whole 1.6 mile trail has a gentle grade and an overall elevation gain of 478 feet. Look below for a couple of pictures and a couple of maps.
DEC sign along Leonard Mountain Road at start of truck trail
Truck trail to Leonard Hill Fire Tower (courtesy of Andy Arthur)
View from the overlook near the fire tower on Leonard Hill
Above map created by Andy Arthur from AndyArthur.org
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