Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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Trail Notices
The Smiley Carriage Road is closed for restoration from the intersection with the Berry Picker trail to Lake Awosting.

Please call the Sam's Point Visitor Center at (845) 647-7989 for more details. 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

Address
400 Sam’s Point Road
Cragsmoor, NY 12420

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.

Mailing Address
P.O Box 86Cragsmoor, NY 12420

Hours of Operation

  • Park is open daily year-round 
    Closing hours are posted at the preserve entrance and are adjusted seasonally.
  • Park Preserve Hours, as of:

    3/13/17: 9 am to 7 pm
    4/4/17: 9 am to 8 pm
    6/5/17: 9 am to 9 pm
    7/31/17: 9 am to 8 pm
    9/11/17: 9 am to 7 pm
    10/10/17: 9 am to 6 pm
    11/5/17: 9 am to 5 pm

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 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.

  • Vehicle Entry 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.   

2017 Hunting Permit

Hunting Regulations

2017 Hunting Map: Sam's Point

2017 Hunting Map: Minnewaska

Sat 23 Sep
Hike to Verkeerder Kill Falls at Sam’s Point
Saturday, September 23, 2017 10:30 AM - 02:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Join Sam's Point staff for a hike to Verkeerderkill Falls. Falling 187 feet over a dramatic rocky ledge, Verkeerderkill Falls is the highest waterfall in the Shawangunk Mountains. We'll walk through the dwarf pitch pines and enjoy views of the Hudson Valley below. This five and a half mile hike is mostly level, but does include some steep, rocky terrain and a stream crossing. 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 required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Sun 24 Sep
Hike to the Shingle Gully Ice Caves – PHOTOGRAPHY EDITION!
Sunday, September 24, 2017 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Join other photographers to explore and photograph the Shingle Gully Ice Caves, where ice persists into summer in deep crevice caves. These caves are in a primitive 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 adventure ascends and descends 1,500 feet, includes off-trail bushwhacking and steep rock scrambles, and is only appropriate for experienced hikers. This particular hike will move at a slower pace to allow you ample time to take that perfect picture. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. Pre-registration deadline: September 19th.

Registration: Required
Fri 29 Sep
Moon Viewing at Sam’s Point
Friday, September 29, 2017 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Join members of the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association (MHAA) for an educational presentation on the history and characteristics of the moon, followed by moon viewing through a variety of telescopes. All the equipment will be provided by the members of MHAA, who will also be there to answer questions about the moon and astronomy. If conditions permit, viewing of planets or star clusters may also occur. If there is inclement weather, this program will be held on Saturday, September 30th. 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 required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Sat 30 Sep
National Public Lands Day Service Projects at Sam’s Point
Saturday, September 30, 2017 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Celebrate National Public Lands Day at Sam's Point! For this first year that we are offering this volunteer program, two distinct projects are planned as follows:

Trash Pickup Project: Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center, where you will be given garbage bags and gloves before ranging the Park for litter. This event is recommended for children over the age of eight, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18.

Barberry Pull Project: Japanese barberry is a prickly invasive plant that is quickly spreading in forests and fields around the country. Help Sam's Point staff prevent its invasion by removing plants from our forest. Interested volunteers will meet at Mt. Meenagha Rd (GPS address 172 Mt. Meenagha Road or GPS point 41.689097 N, -74.371475 W), where they will be met by Park staff. Removing barberry involves strenuous pulling and this project is best for physically fit individuals. It is highly recommended that participants wear long sleeves and long pants and pre-treat work clothes with bug spray. This event is recommended for teens over the age of 16, accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18.

Please bring water, snacks and a lunch, and sturdy hiking shoes. All National Public Lands Day volunteers will receive a free day pass to participating federal public lands. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.

Registration: Required

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Amenities, Activities & Information

  • Amenities
  • Museum/Visitors Center
  • Picnic Tables
  • Scenic Views
  • Activities
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Recreation Programs
  • Snowshoeing Trails