Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

Skip Navigation LinksHome / State Parks / Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

Barbequing/Cooking is not permitted at any location within Minnewaska State Park Preserve.

The Ice Cave Trail is now open

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

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.

Check out Sam's Point weather station that can transmit live weather data.

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.

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:
    4/2/18: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
    6/4/18: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
    7/30/18: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
    9/10/18: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
    10/9/18: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
    11/4/18: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

  • Sam's Point Visitor Center Hours: The Sam's Point Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

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 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

Sun 27 May
Hike to the Shingle Gully Ice Caves
Sunday, May 27, 2018 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Explore the Shingle Gully Ice Caves, 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 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. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. Pre-registration deadline: May 22nd.

Registration: Required
Fri 01 Jun
Hike to the Shingle Gully Ice Caves
Friday, June 1, 2018 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Explore the Shingle Gully Ice Caves, 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 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. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. Pre-registration deadline: May 27th.
Registration: Required
Sat 02 Jun
Hike to the Shingle Gully Ice Caves
Saturday, June 2, 2018 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Explore the Shingle Gully Ice Caves, 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 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. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989. Pre-registration deadline: May 28th.
Registration: Required
Sat 02 Jun
National Trails Day at Sam’s Point
Saturday, June 2, 2018 09:30 AM - 02:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Come join us at Sam’s Point to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act! As part of National Trails Day, we will be working on pulling invasive plants from along the sides of our trails. Removal of these species is a very important step in protecting the globally rare ecosystem found here. All necessary training and tools will be provided. If you have your own work gloves, which you prefer to use, please bring them. Please make sure to bring enough water to last the day (at least 2 liters), snacks, and a lunch. After the work day is over, please feel free to continue to celebrate National Trails Day by hiking our wonderful trails! This volunteer opportunity is appropriate for adults and children who are at least eight years old, 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.
Sat 09 Jun
National Get Outdoors Day at Sam's Point
Saturday, June 9, 2018 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Live Birds of Prey Drop-In Program at Sam's Point: Have you ever been so close to a hawk that you could see how sharp its talons are? Have you ever been so close to an owl that you could see what color eyes it has? Now is your chance! Join Annie Mardiney, wildlife rehabilitator for Wild Mountain Birds, and Laura Davis, Sam's Point Interpretive Ranger, to see and learn about these fascinating raptors. Stop by the picnic area near the Visitor Center to see a variety of live education birds. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration is NOT required.

12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Introduction to Bird Identification Drop-In Program at Sam's Point: Join Jessika Reker, Student Conservation Association/Americorps Member, to learn how to identify the birds you can see from the Sam's Point Overlook. Binoculars and a scope will be available for your use during the program. All children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18. Pre-registration is NOT required.

Get Directions

Amenities, Activities & Information

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