Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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Current Park Notices

The Ice Caves are CLOSED. They will re-open when conditions allow for patron safety. Please check back for updates.

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, 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

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.

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 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

Sun 23 Apr
CANCELLED: Earth Day at Sam's Point Continued: Fungi in the Forest
Sunday, April 23, 2017 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

The event has been cancelled. For any questions please contact the park office at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Sat 29 Apr
Nature Journals for Children at Sam's Point
Saturday, April 29, 2017 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Bring your child to Sam's Point to make their very own nature journal. After the journals are made, we'll take a short walk to look for leaves and other natural items to include in their book. Children of any age are welcome to join us, but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Sat 06 May
I Love My Park Day
Saturday, May 6, 2017 09:00 AM - 04:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Project/Event Description: Sam's Point Area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve is hosting its first I Love My Park Day on May 6th, 2017! I Love My Park Day is all about getting outdoors and showing your appreciation for New York State Parks. We will be partnering with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and the Long Distance Trails Crew to improve the Verkeerderkill Falls Footpath. The goal is to prevent erosion of our fragile soils and allow hikrers to keep their feet dry on the way to the Falls. Volunteers will sharpen their tools and their trail maintenance skills as they help install bog bridges, water bars, stepping stones and rock staircases. There are also opportunities for less strenuous service such as clipping brush back from the edge of the trail. Sam's Point will also be hosting a picnic afterwards to show their appreciation for volunteers! This is an appropriate volunteer opportunity for adults and children who are at least seven years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.
Meeting Location:  Sam's Point Visitor Center


Registration: Required

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