Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area

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Park Opens at 9 am and closes at 7 pm

All FOOTPATHS at the Sam's Point Area are CLOSED for public safety until further notice. All carriage roads and wood roads remain open.

Closed Footpaths: - Ice Caves Trail - Vekeerderkill Falls Footpath - Indian Rock Footpath - High Point Footpath - Berry Picker Footpath

The Visitor's Center is closed until further notice.

Sam's Point is closed to buses and groups over 20 until further notice.

Click here for real time weather from the Sam's Point Weather Station.

Be advised, to encourage social distancing and help stop the spread of COVID-19, the following restrictions are in place: Parking at the Sam's Point Area has been reduced by 50%. Parking at the Sam's Point Area often fills to capacity by 11am and closes to incoming visitors and traffic. Closure updates will be posted here and on the New York State Park's homepage. For real-time traffic updates visit: https://www.511ny.org/#:Alerts. Lake Minnewaska and Sam's Point are experiencing extensive congestion on good-weather days and both sites are subject to intermittent closures as parking lots reach capacity. Please respect our neighbors and surrounding communities: DO NOT park on adjacent roadway shoulders. Alternative destinations can be searched at https://parks.ny.gov/parks/ and at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/82098.html

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.

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

  • Open year round, dawn to dusk.
  • Park Preserve Hours: The hours of operation at this facility have been changed, temporarily. The current operating hours are 9am to 7pm.

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

    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.   

Hunting Permit

Hunting Questionnaire

Hunting Maps

Thu 01 Oct
Homeschoolers at Sam’s Point: Wild Cranberries
Thursday, October 1, 2020 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Join Park Educators to learn all about wild cranberries. We'll take a fun hike to see where the cranberries grow and we'll study the habitat required by this autumn berry. During this exploration, we will also do some science experiments and learn about the importance of this bright red berry in human history. This program is recommended for children between the ages of six to ten years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.

Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to twelve individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum six foot distance away from others who are not part of your immediate household. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Sat 03 Oct
Fall Foliage Scenic Views Hike at Sam’s Point
Saturday, October 3, 2020 09:30 AM - 01:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Join Becca Howe-Parisio, Interpretive Ranger, for a five-mile hike on the relatively flat High Point Carriage Road. On this hike, we'll check out a magnificent view of the Catskills and Gertrude's Nose. The bright colors of the fall foliage contrasting against the blackened pitch pines from the 2016 Wildfire should make for a stunning scene. We'll walk back on High Point Carriage Road, stopping to see Lake Maratanza, and we'll finish with the view from Sam's Point. Participants must wear appropriate shoes and bring a backpack with plenty of water, snacks, and lunch. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.

Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to twelve individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum six foot distance away from others who are not part of your immediate household. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Sat 03 Oct
Nature Journals for Children at Sam’s Point
Saturday, October 3, 2020 01:30 PM - 03:00 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 completed, we'll take a short walk to look for interesting leaves and other natural items to include in each child's journal. Children of any age are welcome to join us. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center.

Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to six individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum six foot distance away from others who are not part of your immediate household. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Thu 08 Oct
Homeschoolers: Climate Change at Sam’s Point
Thursday, October 8, 2020 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Come join Becca Howe-Parisio, Interpretive Ranger and Sarah LaLumiere, Student Conservation Association/Americorps Member along with other homeschool families to learn about how climate change can affect the wild animals who live in our area. Homeschoolers will have a chance to play a fun, socially distanced game about adaptation. During the game, while pretending to be their favorite animal, children will learn about the adaptations that each animal has that help it to best survive in its own habitat. Participants will also get to make an animal craft that they can take home with them. To wrap up the day, we will go on an animal detective walk and keep a close eye out for animals and animal signs. This program is recommended for children between the ages of six to ten years old, accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Siblings of any age are welcome; however, younger siblings may need parental assistance.

Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to twelve individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum six foot distance away from others who are not part of your immediate household. Meet at the Sam's Point Visitor Center. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.

Registration: Required
Fri 09 Oct
Geology Hike around Lake Maratanza at Sam’s Point
Friday, October 9, 2020 01:30 PM - 04:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Join Becca Howe-Parisio, Interpretive Ranger, for this three-mile loop walk to view magnificent Lake Maratanza. On our way to the Lake, we will stop at the Sam's Point Overlook, where we will find clues left on the landscape by the last glaciers, thousands of years ago. Once you learn what these features are, you'll start to notice them all over the Shawangunks! At the Lake, Becca will describe the amazing, land-sculpting, glacial process by which the Lake was formed. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18.

Due to COVID protocols, the total number of participants for this program is limited to twelve individuals. All participants must wear face coverings or keep a minimum six foot distance away from others who are not part of your immediate household. 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 Information

  • Amenities
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Snowshoeing/X-Country Skiing
  • Visitor Center