Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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The Ice Caves Trail is closed for the season. The trail will re-open in the spring when conditions allow for patron safety.

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

For a map of these closures see Map of Closures
Educational Info related to fire see link

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

Connect Kids Transportation Grant Program

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:

    3/13/16: 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

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.

Your key to all season enjoyment of state parks is our season's pass. For $65, the Empire Passport provides you unlimited day use vehicle entry into most of our parks. Apply on-line or call your favorite park for more information.

  • 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 drew.polinsky@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.

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.   

2016 Hunting Permit

Hunting Regulations

2016 Hunting Map: Sam's Point

2016 Hunting Map: Minnewaska

Sat 28 Jan
Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons at Sam’s Point Preserve
Saturday, January 28, 2017 11:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

This opportunity is being offered at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday in 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.

Sun 29 Jan
Wild Talks! Visitor Center Tour – The Sam’s Point Story
Sunday, January 29, 2017 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Have you ever wondered what plants and animals live at Sam's Point, or how the impressive ice caves formed? Join Laura Davis, Interpretive Ranger, to learn all about these topics and much more. On this tour of the Sam's Point Visitor Center, the story of the geology, plants, animals, and cultural history of Sam's Point will unfold as we visit the many interesting interpretive displays. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. This program is being offered at the Sam's Point Area in Cragsmoor. Pre-registration is recommended by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Sun 29 Jan
Wild Talks! Visitor Center Tour – The Sam’s Point Story
Sunday, January 29, 2017 02:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Have you ever wondered what plants and animals live at Sam's Point, or how the impressive ice caves formed? Join Laura Davis, Interpretive Ranger, to learn all about these topics and much more. On this tour of the Sam's Point Visitor Center, the story of the geology, plants, animals, and cultural history of Sam's Point will unfold as we visit the many interesting interpretive displays. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. This program is being offered at the Sam's Point Area in Cragsmoor. Pre-registration is recommended by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Sat 04 Feb
Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons at Sam’s Point Preserve
Saturday, February 4, 2017 11:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

This opportunity is being offered at 11:00 a.m. every Saturday in 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.

Sun 05 Feb
Project FeederWatch at Sam’s Point
Sunday, February 5, 2017 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Become a Citizen Scientist and help us learn more about the beautiful birds that visit the feeders at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. At the end of winter, we will send our data to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help other scientists learn about these birds as well. During the program, we will use binoculars to observe birds and learn how to identify them as they visit our feeders. Then, we will make pinecone 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. This program is being offered at the Sam's Point Area in Cragsmoor.

Registration: Required

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