Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 15, 2022

Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

Pilot Parking Reservation System for the Sam’s Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve Opens April 17th

Reservations are required weekends and holidays from Sunday, May 1 through the last weekend in October. 

New York State Parks, along with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, are introducing a pilot reservation system for parking at the Sam's Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve (Ulster County). Reservations can be made two weeks in advance beginning April 17th online at or through the call center at 1-800-456-2267. One reservation is allowed for any two-week period. Reservations are required weekends and holidays from Sunday, May 1 through the last weekend in October.  

All weekend and holiday visitors will be required to make reservations. The vehicle entrance fee is $10.95; there will be no reservation fee for Empire Pass holders. Stopping and standing on the roadway is prohibited and no drop-offs or pickups will be allowed in the Sam's Point Area.  

The pilot reservation system aims to protect the site's fragile ecosystem from the impact of increasing visitation and to provide an improved visitor experience for enjoyment of the unique features and natural beauty of the Sam's Point Area, while reducing impacts on the surrounding community. 

Annual visitation to Sam's Point has steadily increased in recent years, with a nearly 48% increase in visitors since 2015. This increase has led to severe traffic congestion, illegal parking on local roads, and negative impacts on the park's natural resources and the surrounding areas with documented trail erosion, littering, and trampling of vegetation. Through the implementation of this pilot program, State Parks aims to mitigate these environmental concerns and reduce the disappointment of motorists previously turned away once the park reached capacity.  

Minnewaska State Park Preserve's main parking areas located at 5281 Route 44/55 Kerhonkson, will remain as first come first serve access with no reservation requirement.   

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which were visited by a record 78.4 million people in 2021. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

The Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) was formed in 1900 under an interstate compact to protect the Palisades from destruction by stone and gravel quarries operating along the western banks of the Lower Hudson River. As the nation's first bi-state partnership established to protect and conserve natural lands, the Commission's role expanded through the years to incorporate the Palisades Region of New York State Parks and the creation of the Palisades Interstate Parkway.