Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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Address
400 Sam’s Point Road
Cragsmoor, NY 12420

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: There are no trash cans at this park preserve, please carry in and carry out everything you bring to the park.  Amplified music and drones are NOT Permitted.  

Lake Minnewaska and Sam's Point are experiencing extensive congestion on good-weather days and both sites are subject to intermittent closures as parking lots reach capacity. Please respect our neighbors and surrounding communities: DO NOT park on adjacent roadway shoulders.

Trail Closures: Indian Rock Footpath

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.

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 9:00 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

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

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

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 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 Terri.McNeil@parks.ny.gov. 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.   

Hunting Maps

Thu 01 Jul
Sam’s Point Galley Feature for the Month of July: The Allure of Pressed Botanical Specimens
Thursday, July 1, 2021 until Saturday, July 31, 2021
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

Throughout the month of July, the Gallery at Sam's Point will be exhibiting pressed botanical specimens collected by Hudson Valley resident David Schaengold. Among the pressed specimens on display and for sale are local favorites like buttercups, sassafras, Japanese anemone and blue flag iris. This exciting and informative show is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Schaengold's beloved wife, Paula, who cherished her garden. Proceeds from the sale of these works will be donated to Hudson Valley Hospice Foundation.

Sat 24 Jul
Monthly Morning Story Time at Sam’s Point
Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Get cozy and listen to a great story, as part of our new, monthly, morning stories. The story this month is "Blueberries for Sal" by Robert McCloskey. This illustrated, short story is about a little girl and a bear cub who mistake each other's mothers for their own while picking berries. After the story, we will take a short walk to pick our own blueberries and learn about the history of berry picking at Sam's Point. This program is intended for early elementary learners, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
Registration: Required
Sun 25 Jul
Plan for Your First Wilderness Adventure at Sam’s Point
Sunday, July 25, 2021 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

If you're looking to explore new places away from the crowds on your next hike, you can visit some of New York's 6.8 million acres of primitive wilderness areas. During this program, Park staff will teach you expert tips on what to bring, how to pack, rules to follow, how to use a compass, and other exciting topics so you can maximize the fun and safety on your next wilderness hike. As a bonus, participants may bring in their backpacking gear for advice from Park Preserve staff. This program is intended for adults and adolescents over the age of 16, who must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18. All participants should come well prepared with appropriate footwear, food, and water. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
Registration: Required
Sat 31 Jul
Hike to the Shingle Gully Area
Saturday, July 31, 2021 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Explore the Shingle Gully Crevice Caves, where ice persists into summer in deep crevice caves. These caves are in a backcountry area in Minnewaska State Park Preserve. This rugged, protected landscape is accessible only on guided tours led by Park staff and volunteer docents. This all-day, strenuous approximately four-mile adventure ascends and descends 1,500 feet, includes off-trail bushwhacking and steep rock scrambles, and is only appropriate for experienced hikers. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. Registration deadline: July 26.
Registration: Required
Sun 01 Aug
Hike to the Shingle Gully Area
Sunday, August 1, 2021 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Explore the Shingle Gully Crevice Caves, where ice persists into summer in deep crevice caves. These caves are in a backcountry area in Minnewaska State Park Preserve. This rugged, protected landscape is accessible only on guided tours led by Park staff and volunteer docents. This all-day, strenuous approximately four-mile adventure ascends and descends 1,500 feet, includes off-trail bushwhacking and steep rock scrambles, and is only appropriate for experienced hikers. All unvaccinated participants are encouraged to wear face coverings and keep a minimum six-foot distance away from others who are not part of their immediate household. Additionally, all unvaccinated visitors are required to wear a mask when inside buildings. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. Registration deadline: July 27
Registration: Required

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Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Gift Shop
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Visitor Center