Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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Biking at Sam's Point

Bicycling is permitted at Sam's Point on all carriage roads. During the reservation period (April 20 through November 10), starting your bike ride from the Sam's Point parking lot is not permitted on weekends and holidays. On these weekends and holidays, all bikers would have to start their trip from the Lake Minnewaska or Peter's Kill Area entrance.


Parking Reservations are Required Weekends and Holidays

Parking Reservations will be required on weekends and holidays April 20 through November 10. Parking reservations can be made through Reserve America by visiting newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com or calling 1-800-456-2267. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance. Two reservations can be made within a two-week period.

For further information, please visit : http://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com

Address
400 Sam’s Point Road
Cragsmoor, NY 12420

Know Before You Go...

More Info

Restrictions

-There are no trash cans at this park preserve, please carry in and carry out everything you bring to the park preserve. 
-Swimming is NOT permitted in any lakes, streams or waterfalls. 
-Barbequing/Cooking is not permitted at any location within the Sam's Point Area.
-The use of bicycles, equestrian use, motorized scooters, skateboards, and one wheels are NOT permitted anywhere in the park preserve. 
-The use of drones is prohibited at the Sam's Point Area. 
-Amplified music is prohibited throughout the park preserve. 
-Buses are only permitted on non-holiday weekdays.
-Groups of fifteen or larger require a permit in advance

Pet Policy

Dogs only, must be on a leash not more than 6 feet and under the owners control. Please clean up after your dog and dispose of properly.

Parking Reservations

Parking reservations are required weekends/holidays from April 15 through November 15. Reservations can be made online http://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com or by calling 1-800-456-2267. Please respect our neighbors and surrounding communities, do not park on adjacent roadway shoulders.

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.  Reservations are required during weekends and holidays during peak visitation periods from Mid April through Mid Nov.  Reservation details are available on reserveamerica. com

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

    Parking reservations are required weekends/holidays from April 15 through November 15. Reservations can be made online https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com or by calling 1-800-456-2267.

    Bus Permits:
    Bus permits: $60

    Bus Permits Not Scheduled in Advance: $150

    Buses are not permitted on weekends and holidays. Please contact the Visitor Center to schedule a bus.

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

Maps

Digital Maps

New! Download this park's digital map to your iOS Apple and Android device.

Public Programs
Minnewaska State Park Preserve offers public programs, free of charge, at the Lake Minnewaska and Sam's Point areas.

View public programs by clicking on the "Upcoming Events" button on the right side of this page.

 

School & Other Group Programs

Please call the Park Office at 845-647-7989 to inquire about school or other educational group visits with our Environmental Educator. Buses are not permitted on weekends or holidays.

 

The Connect-Kids-to-Parks Field Trip Grant Program (Connect Kids) is designed to connect students in New York State with nature and history. Each grant provides reimbursement of up to $80 per student (and $160 for Special Education students) for field trips to state and federal parks, forests, historic sites, fish hatcheries and outdoor recreation areas.

 

Program Information on Environmental Education Programs available to School Groups at Minnewaska State Park Preserve

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 areas of the park preserve during hunting season.  Minnewaska's hunting dates coincide with the NYS DEC hunting dates. Bow, rifle/shotgun/pistol, crossbow and muzzleloader hunting is permitted. Anyone interested in hunting on Minnewaska State Park Preserve lands must get a free hunting permit.  Permits for Minnewaska and the Sam's Point Area can be obtained by completing the application under the attachments tab and emailing over to Terri.McNeil@parks.ny.gov.  If you complete your application this way your permit will be sent back to you electronically or you can mail your completed application to one of the addresses listed below. 

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, PO Box 893, New Paltz, NY 12561   Attn:  Terri McNeil

Sam's Point Preserve, PO Box 86, Cragsmoor, NY 12486

All hunters must have their current hunting license first because we require your NYS Hunting License ID # on the application.  Your license ID # is shown directly under your printed name on your carcass tags or at a 90° angle on the right side of your license.  It is not your DOC #.  Failure to provide the correct number will void your permit.  After hunting season ends, all hunters are required to complete and send back the park questionnaire by 1/15/22.  

In-person permits will not be issued this year due to COVID.

Wed 24 Jul
Hike to the Shingle Gully Ice Caves
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Explore Shingle Gully, 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 Preserve staff and volunteer docents. This all-day, strenuous, approximately six-mile adventure ascends and descends 1,500 feet. It includes off-trail bushwhacking and steep rock scrambles and is only appropriate for experienced hikers. To register, please visit http://samspoint.eventbrite.com. Pre-registration deadline: July 18.
Registration: Required
Wed 31 Jul
Adult Learning Summer Series: Snakes of Sam's Point
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Come learn about the wonderful world of snakes with Colleen Stevens, Student Conservation Association/AmeriCorps Environmental Education Intern. The program will start off at the Sam's Point Visitor Center with a presentation on the different species of snakes that live in our area. We will discuss typical snake habitat, venomous species and much more. After the presentation, we will hike out on the Indian Rock Footpath with high hopes of experiencing snakes in their natural habitat! This five-mile hike is mildly challenging, starting on Loop Road, then hiking on a footpath with steep and rocky terrain. Individuals may attend just the presentation if they are uncomfortable with the hiking portion of the program. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling the Sam's Point Visitor Center at 845-647-7989.
Registration: Required
Sat 03 Aug
Berry Extravaganza! Drop in Celebration at Sam’s Point
Saturday, August 3, 2024 10:00 AM - 03:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
In summer, wild blueberries and huckleberries can be found growing along almost every trail at Sam's Point, providing a tasty snack for both wildlife and hikers alike. Can you identify these two berries? Stop by the picnic area at Sam's Point to try the berry taste- test and make your own berry holder to take with you on your hike. The twenty-seven-minute documentary, "The Huckleberry Pickers: A Vanished Shawangunk Culture", will be shown in the Visitor Center throughout the day. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration for this program is not required, however, reservations to get into Sam's Point on weekends are required. You can reserve a parking spot through Reserve America New York: https://bit.ly/3uPj21L.
Registration: Required
Sun 04 Aug
Berry Extravaganza! Drop in Celebration at Sam’s Point
Sunday, August 4, 2024 10:00 AM - 03:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
In summer, wild blueberries and huckleberries can be found growing along almost every trail at Sam's Point, providing a tasty snack for both wildlife and hikers alike. Can you identify these two berries? Stop by the picnic area at Sam's Point to try the berry taste- test and make your own berry holder to take with you on your hike. The twenty-seven-minute documentary, "The Huckleberry Pickers: A Vanished Shawangunk Culture", will be shown in the Visitor Center throughout the day. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration for this program is not required, however, reservations to get into Sam's Point on weekends are required. You can reserve a parking spot through Reserve America New York: https://bit.ly/3uPj21L.
Registration: Required
Wed 07 Aug
Adult Learning Summer Series: Tree Talk with Taylor at Sam’s Point
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
Join Taylor Pazderski, Student Conservation Association/AmeriCorps Ecosystem Steward, for a three-mile walk and talk lesson on the globally rare dwarf pitch pines and other vegetation found in the Park Preserve. We will talk about Sam's Point's unique fire dependent ecosystems and the plant species that live within them. This walk will include stops to see evidence of a previous forest fire at Sam's Point and a wonderful variety of different trees, shrubs, and flowers, and plants. This hike will take place on Loop Road, a recently restored carriage road. Loop Road does have some uphill and downhill portions that can be steep at times. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling the Sam's Point Visitor Center at 845-647-7989.
Registration: Required

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Amenities Information

  • Amenities
  • Gift Shop
  • Hiking
  • Hunting * Deer Hunting Only Permit Required
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Visitor Center