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

Park Opens at 9 am and closes at 7 pm

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

As of 10:45 AM the parking area has filled to capacity, long wait times can be expected to enter the park preserve.

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.

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.   

2019 Hunting Permit

Hunting Questionnaire

Hunting Maps

Sat 15 Aug
Rustic Blueberry Sign Painting Party at Sam’s Point
Saturday, August 15, 2020 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Come visit Sam's Point for a fun day of painting and exploring! Join artist Shawn Dell Joyce from the Wallkill River School of Art, as she leads you step-by-step through painting a rustic blueberry sign. There will be two sessions with ten people per session. This is a free program with a $10 per vehicle parking fee, which gets you access to the park all day, so you can hike the many trails and possibly pick some blueberries. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal 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. Rain date: Sunday August 16th
Registration: Required
Sat 15 Aug
Rustic Blueberry Sign Painting Party at Sam’s Point
Saturday, August 15, 2020 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Come visit Sam's Point for a fun day of painting and exploring! Join artist Shawn Dell Joyce from the Wallkill River School of Art, as she leads you step-by-step through painting a rustic blueberry sign. There will be two sessions with ten people per session. This is a free program with a $10 per vehicle parking fee, which gets you access to the park all day, so you can hike the many trails and possibly pick some blueberries. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal 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. Rain date: Sunday August 16th
Registration: Required
Sun 16 Aug
Citizen Science Plant Hike at Sam’s Point
Sunday, August 16, 2020 01:30 PM - 04:00 PM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

When do the flowers bloom? When do the leaves fall? We are very curious to find out! In this program, you will learn all about phenology, the study of how plants and animals change throughout the seasons, while working as a citizen scientist to collect information about the plants in our park. We will be offering this hike once a month at Sam's Point to monitor seasonal changes in plants along the Loop Road. Along this carriage road, you will encounter a variety of flowers, ferns, shrubs, and trees which change as you move up in elevation. This program is recommended for children eight years of age and older, but everyone is 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. Pre-registration is required by calling Sam's Point at 845-647-7989.
Registration: Required
Sat 22 Aug
Geology Hike around Lake Maratanza at Sam’s Point
Saturday, August 22, 2020 09:30 AM - 11:30 AM
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. Pack a lunch and sit on the shore to enjoy a mid-day picnic. 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 29 Aug
Fire Ecology Walk at Sam's Point
Saturday, August 29, 2020 09:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Minnewaska State Park Preserve: Sam's Point Area
(845) 647-7989

Are you fascinated by fire? Are you interested in understanding how the 2016 wildfire affected the plants and animals at Sam's Point? Learn about Sam's Point's unique fire-dependent ecosystem during this interpretative, three-mile hike on the Loop Road with Becca Howe-Parisio, Interpretive Ranger. We will explore the landscape to examine fire-adapted species and to compare and contrast where fire has been suppressed and reintroduced. 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

Get Directions

Amenities Information

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