Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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Barbecuing will not be permitted at any location within Minnewaska State Park Preserve effective April 1, 2018.

The Ice Caves are closed for the season. They will re-open in the spring when conditions allow for patron safety.

Trail Notices

The Smiley Carriage Road is closed for restoration from the intersection with the High Point Carriage Road 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 Trail Closure Map

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 easy-to-use Empire Pass card is $65- 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 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 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 06 Jan
Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons at Sam’s Point Preserve
Saturday, January 6, 2018 until Saturday, March 31, 2018 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, and work with you until you are ready to confidently head out on your favorite trail. 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 17 Feb
Project FeederWatch at Sam’s Point
Saturday, February 17, 2018 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
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. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Mon 19 Feb
Loop around the Lake for Families at Sam’s Point
Monday, February 19, 2018 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Join us for this three-mile loop on snowshoes to view magnificent Lake Maratanza. Winds blow almost continuously across this sky lake, causing large snow drifts that can reach incredible heights! 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. Snowshoes may be rented for this program for a fee of $5 per person. If there is insufficient snow cover, this program will be offered as a hike. 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 25 Feb
Preschoolers in the Park: Winter Wonderland at Sam’s Point
Sunday, February 25, 2018 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Bring your preschoolers and join Laura Davis, Interpretive Ranger, for a fun-filled morning exploring the wonderful world of winter! We will read a story, do a craft or two, and play a game. We will be inside for most of the time, but if weather allows we will venture outside to build a snowman. 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

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Amenities, Activities & Information

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