Current Park Notices
Due to a 2000 acre wildfire that occurred in April, 2016 at the Sam's Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve, the following RESTRICTIONS are in place:
The following trails are open: The Loop Road, Ice Caves Road, South Gully Trail, Smiley Carriage Road (Berme Road Park to Stony Kill stream) All other areas at Sam's Point will remain CLOSED until further notice
These restrictions are in place for your safety and the protection of sensitive resources; please adhere to all posted trail closures. Thank you for your cooperation -Park Management
The Sam's Point Preserve, located on the highest section of the Shawangunk Mountains, is the most southerly section of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The area comprises approximately 5,000 acres, and contains a globally rare community of high altitude pitch pine barrens. The pitch pine barrens, and the matrix of chestnut oak forest that surrounds them, provide habitat for abundant flora and fauna, both rare and common.
Sam's Point contains a bounty of natural splendor. It is home to Lake Maratanza, one of the five Shawangunk sky lakes; ice cave crevices that you can explore; cliffs and numerous scenic vistas. Verkeerder Kill Falls, is a spectacular 187 foot high waterfall located on private property, please respect the use of private property and remain on the trail.
In order to protect both the visitor experience, and the unique ecosystem, Sam's Point has a small parking facility. Visitors should plan to arrive early, or visit at non-peak times, in order to obtain entry.
For more information, and to register for public programs, call the Sam's Point Visitor Center at (845) 647-7989. Sam's Point opens at 9:00 am and closing times vary throughout the year. The vehicle use fee is $10 per car. The vehicle use fee, as well as gift shop items and snowshoe rentals, can be paid for by credit card, cash or check. Please note the parking area fills early. Please call the park office to ensure parking is available prior to your arrival. There are no additional fees for public programs, unless otherwise noted.
Sam's Point Preserve is located 2.8 miles off State Route 52 in the historic hamlet of Cragsmoor, New York. Please drive slowly, and quietly, through the hamlet, so that you may enjoy and preserve the tranquil nature that inspired the Hudson River School painters who summered here.
To explore the neighboring Minnewaska State Park Preserve, please visit their calendar of events.
2015-2016 School Group Environmental Education Programs
Dogs must be on a six foot, or shorter, leash.
Park Preserve Hours, as of:
3/13/16: 9 am to 7 pm
4/4/16: 9 am to 8 pm
6/6/16: 9 am to 9 pm
8/1/16: 9 am to 8 pm
9/12/16: 9 am to 7 pm
10/11/16: 9 am to 6 pm
11/6/16: 9 am to 5 pm
Most New York State Parks charge a vehicle use fee to enter the facility. Fees vary by location and season. A list of entry fees and other park use fees is available below. For fees not listed or to verify information, please contact the park directly.
The Empire Pass -- whether a card for $80 or a vehicle-affixed decal for $65 -- is your key to all-season enjoyment with unlimited day-use entry at most facilities operated by State Parks and the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation including forests, beaches, trails and more. Apply online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.
$10 per vehicle
Bus permits (non-profit): $60
Bus permits (commercial): $100
$15/day - Adult,
$14/day - 17 and under
New! Download this park's digital map to your iOS Apple and Android device.
Key BCA Criteria:
The Minnewaska BCA is located within the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. The Preserve is located on the Shawangunk Mountain ridge, which rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level. The Minnewaska BCA has many spectacular rock formations, soaring precipices, windswept ledges with pine barrens, fast-flowing mountain streams, mountain lakes and several scenic waterfalls. The BCA is especially important for its unfragmented forest, which supports a high diversity of forest-dwelling bird species, and for its partnership with researches studying birds and their habitats. The Nature Conservancy has designated the entire ridge as one of the "Last Great Places." The Shawangunks, including Minnewaska, are one of the highest priority areas for biodiversity conservation in the northeastern United States. The Minnewaska BCA is part of the Northern Shawangunk Mountains Important Bird Area.
Minnewaska is part of a migratory corridor that exists along the entire upland plateau of the Northern Shawangunks. It is an exceptional example of a characteristic higher elevation forest community with a high diversity of forest dwelling species. The BCA includes birds of forest habitat including breeding Northern Saw-whet Owl, Black-and-white Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Canada Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Northern Flicker and Scarlet Tanager; and breeding shrub/scrub species Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Gray Catbird, Indigo Bunting and Prairie Warbler. Species at risk include a pair of Peregrine Falcons (Endangered) that nest on the cliff face. Download a copy of the BCA map.
Deer hunting is allowed in specific sections of the park during hunting season. Minnewaska's hunting dates coincide with the NYS DEC hunting dates. Bow, rifle/shotgun/pistol and muzzle loader hunting is permitted.
Anyone interested in hunting on Minnewaska State Park Preserve lands must get a free hunting permit. Permits for the Sam's Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve can be obtained by the following methods: stopping by the Sam's Point Visitor Center (between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm, 7 days a week) and completing the application, or filling out the permit application found under the attachments tab and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you submit the application electronically, your permit will be sent to you via email.
All hunters must have purchased their hunting licenses first because back tag numbers will be needed for the permit application. After hunting season ends, all hunters will be sent a questionnaire to complete and send back to the park by the 15th of January.
Note: Much of the usual deer hunting area at Sam's Point is closed due to the 2016 Sam's Point Wildfire. Please check the hunting map for details.
Become a Citizen Scientist and help us learn more about the beautiful birds that visit the feeders at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. On April 7th we will send our data to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help other scientists learn about these birds as well. During this program, we will use binoculars to observe birds and learn how to identify them as they visit our feeders. Then we will make starter feeders for you to take home so you can continue your observations in your own yard. This program is recommended for beginner and experienced bird watchers of all ages. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration is recommended by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m
Join a Sam's Point educator for this three mile hike to view magnificent Lake Maratanza. On our way back toward the Visitor Center, we will stop at the Sam's Point Overlook, where on a clear day there is a great view of the Wallkill Valley, the Catskills, and much more. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
Bring your preschoolers and join Laura Davis, Sam's Point Interpretive Ranger, for a fun filled morning learning about amphibians! We will make a frog inspired craft, play a game, and learn about the amazing life cycle of these cool creatures. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
Celebrate Earth Day at Sam's Point with a day of service and stewardship. There's no better way to celebrate Earth Day than by serving the planet and working hard while enjoying beautiful scenery. This year, our project will be to clear brush from a mile long section of the High Point Footpath and restore the trail from effects of the recent wildfire. After breaking for lunch we will hike out by way of the Verkeerderkill Falls Footpath. This strenuous, five mile hike is recommended for experienced hikers over the age of 15. Please bring plenty of water (two liters is recommended), lunch, snacks, and appropriate work clothes. This event will take place rain or shine. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
Join Zach Pollock, Interpretive Ranger Intern, for a nature walk up to the Sam's Point Overlook. Along the way, we will improve our observation skills while searching for various signs of wildlife along the trail. During the program we will discuss the principles of Leave No Trace and brainstorm ways that we can help protect our parks together. Please bring water and food. This program is open to people of all ages, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.