Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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Ice Cave Trail is Closed for the Winter

Please adhere to the closure in place for your safety


Closed for Biking, Climbing and Equestrian Use for Winter

Expect Wintery & Icy Conditions Throughout Trail Network USE CAUTION!! Snow and Icy Conditions are present throughout the trail network. Appropriate footwear and traction devices are recommended for hiking. Please call the office for more information 845-647-7989

Address
400 Sam’s Point Road
Cragsmoor, NY 12420

Know Before You Go...

More Info

Restrictions

-There are no trash cans at this park preserve, please carry in and carry out everything you bring to the park preserve. 
-Swimming is NOT permitted in any lakes, streams or waterfalls. 
-Barbequing/Cooking is not permitted at any location within the Sam's Point Area.
-The use of bicycles, equestrian use, motorized scooters, skateboards, and one wheels are NOT permitted anywhere in the park preserve. 
-The use of drones is prohibited at the Sam's Point Area. 
-Amplified music is prohibited throughout the park preserve. 
-Buses are only permitted on non-holiday weekdays.
-Groups of fifteen or larger require a permit in advance

Pet Policy

Dogs only, must be on a leash not more than 6 feet and under the owners control. Please clean up after your dog and dispose of properly.

Parking Reservations

Parking reservations are required weekends/holidays from April 15 through November 15. Reservations can be made online http://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com or by calling 1-800-456-2267. Please respect our neighbors and surrounding communities, do not park on adjacent roadway shoulders.

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.  Reservations are required during weekends and holidays during peak visitation periods from Mid April through Mid Nov.  Reservation details are available on reserveamerica. com

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.

School Group Environmental Education Programs

Dogs must be on a six foot, or shorter, leash.  Please clean up after your dog and dispose of properly.

Mailing Address
P.O Box 86Cragsmoor, NY 12420

Hours of Operation

  • Open Year round, current hours of Operation are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., hours will change seasonally.

Fees & Rates

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 easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $80 and 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. Purchase online or contact your favorite park for more information. Learn more about our Admission Programs including the Empire Pass.

  • Vehicle Entrance Fee
  • $10 per vehicle

    Parking reservations are required weekends/holidays from April 15 through November 15. Reservations can be made online https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com or by calling 1-800-456-2267.

    Bus Permits:
    Bus permits (non-profit): $60
    Bus permits (commercial): $100

    Bus Permits Not Scheduled in Advance: $150

    Buses are not permitted on weekends and holidays. Please contact the Visitor Center to schedule a bus.

  • Snowshoe Rental
  • $15/day - Adult,
    $14/day - 17 and under

Public Programs
Minnewaska State Park Preserve offers public programs, free of charge, at the Lake Minnewaska and Sam's Point areas.

View public programs by clicking on the "Upcoming Events" button on the right side of this page.

 

School & Other Group Programs

Please call the Park Office at 845-647-7989 to inquire about school or other educational group visits with the Park Educator. Buses are not permitted on weekends or holidays.

 

The Connect-Kids-to-Parks Field Trip Grant Program (Connect Kids) is designed to connect students in New York State with nature and history. Each grant provides reimbursement of up to $80 per student (and $160 for Special Education students) for field trips to state and federal parks, forests, historic sites, fish hatcheries and outdoor recreation areas.

 

Program Information on Environmental Education Programs available to School Groups at Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Key BCA Criteria:

  • Migratory concentration site
  • Diverse species concentration site
  • Species at risk site
  • Bird research site

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 areas of the park preserve during hunting season.  Minnewaska's hunting dates coincide with the NYS DEC hunting dates. Bow, rifle/shotgun/pistol, crossbow and muzzleloader hunting is permitted. Anyone interested in hunting on Minnewaska State Park Preserve lands must get a free hunting permit.  Permits for Minnewaska and the Sam's Point Area can be obtained by completing the application under the attachments tab and emailing over to Terri.McNeil@parks.ny.gov.  If you complete your application this way your permit will be sent back to you electronically or you can mail your completed application to one of the addresses listed below. 

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, PO Box 893, New Paltz, NY 12561   Attn:  Terri McNeil

Sam's Point Preserve, PO Box 86, Cragsmoor, NY 12486

All hunters must have their current hunting license first because we require your NYS Hunting License ID # on the application.  Your license ID # is shown directly under your printed name on your carcass tags or at a 90° angle on the right side of your license.  It is not your DOC #.  Failure to provide the correct number will void your permit.  After hunting season ends, all hunters are required to complete and send back the park questionnaire by 1/15/22.  

In-person permits will not be issued this year due to COVID.

Sat 02 Mar
Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons at Sam’s Point Preserve
Saturday, March 2, 2024 11:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
This opportunity is being offered at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday in December, January, February, and March, weather permitting. It is designed for people who are beginners, interested in trying snowshoeing as a new winter activity. Each session will be run by a Sam's Point employee, who will provide instruction on how to properly wear and adjust the snowshoes, as well as work with you until you are ready to head out on your favorite trail with confidence. The lesson may last up to one hour. Snowshoes are available to rent for this program at a discounted rate of $5 per person at the Sam's Point Visitor Center.
Sat 02 Mar
Drop-in Feed the Birds Program at Sam’s Point
Saturday, March 2, 2024 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Birds use a lot of energy to keep themselves warm in the cold winter months. Join us to make a snack that will help energize the birds in your backyard during this challenging season. We'll use pinecones, peanut butter, and bird seed to make a delicious treat for the birds that you can hang in trees near your house. While observing the bird feeder outside, we'll record the birds that we see and use field guides to identify the birds we don't know. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is NOT required.
Sat 09 Mar
Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons at Sam’s Point Preserve
Saturday, March 9, 2024 11:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
This opportunity is being offered at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday in December, January, February, and March, weather permitting. It is designed for people who are beginners, interested in trying snowshoeing as a new winter activity. Each session will be run by a Sam's Point employee, who will provide instruction on how to properly wear and adjust the snowshoes, as well as work with you until you are ready to head out on your favorite trail with confidence. The lesson may last up to one hour. Snowshoes are available to rent for this program at a discounted rate of $5 per person at the Sam's Point Visitor Center.
Sat 09 Mar
Drop-in Maple Sugaring Basics at Sam’s Point
Saturday, March 9, 2024 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Bring your family and join Park staff to learn about one of our favorite sugary treats! We will learn about the complete process of maple sugaring, including identifying the correct trees, using traditional tools to tap a tree, collecting its sap, and processing the sap until it becomes the tasty treat that we desire most. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is NOT required for this program.
Sun 10 Mar
Drop-in Maple Sugaring Basics at Sam’s Point
Sunday, March 10, 2024 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Bring your family and join Park staff to learn about one of our favorite sugary treats! We will learn about the complete process of maple sugaring, including identifying the correct trees, using traditional tools to tap a tree, collecting its sap, and processing the sap until it becomes the tasty treat that we desire most. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is NOT required for this program.

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Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Gift Shop
  • Hiking
  • Hunting * Deer Hunting Only Permit Required
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Visitor Center