Ice Caves/Mountain Houses Trail Map

Lake Minnewaska and surrounding areas as they are now.
Dave McCarthy

Ice Caves/Mountain Houses Trail Map

Postby Dave McCarthy » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:51 pm

There was a interesting story in the Kingston Daily Freeman about the reopened Sam's Point Ice Caves about a week ago.

The reopened Sam's Point Ice Caves are definitely worth a visit. We were up there four weeks ago. The renovation is ingenious, with solar panels, batteries and motion detectors operating the lights and showing off the caves beautifully. We happened to be up there during a rainstorm and seeing rivulets gush out to the rifts in the cliff face was quite something. Also, while we were there an AmeriCorps volunteer working for the Nature Conservancy was taking down the old trail signs and putting up new, good looking hand routed trail signs (like at Mohonk)--definitely a big improvement over the ugly highway department style signs at Minnewaska State Park. (The distances on the signs appeared to be accurate, unlike the MSP signs!)

By the way, here's a plug for the Minnewaska Mountain Houses trail maps sold on this site. They are beautifully printed, have accurate distances (unlike the park signs) and are great for kids (and grownups) who can't or don't want to read a topographic map.

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Postby Admin » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:51 pm

Do you know when this particular area (Ice Caves) went into State ownership? Was it during the financial problems occuring in the 70's was it earlier than that?

Dave McCarthy

Postby Dave McCarthy » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:52 pm

Actually, that area is not owned by the state, although I believe that is the long term goal. It's owned by the Open Space Institute and managed by the Nature Conservancy.

I don't think the land was ever part of the Lake Minnewaska property. (My post may have been a little confusing since I mentioned the Lake Minnewaska trail maps.) It was originally owned, I think, by the Village of Ellenville, which leased the caves to a commercial operator, Ice Caves Mountain. (Ellenville uses Lake Maratanza as its reservoir and the lands around it as its watershed.) Exactly when OSI acquired the land I'm not sure. The Nature Conservancy website says 1997, but the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference map says 1994.

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Re: Ice Caves/Mountain Houses Trail Map

Postby GaryUnderwood » Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:34 am

Dave McCarthy wrote:There was a interesting story in the Kingston Daily Freeman about the reopened Sam's Point Ice Caves about a week ago.

The reopened Sam's Point Ice Caves are definitely worth a visit. We were up there four weeks ago. The renovation is ingenious, with solar panel, batteries and motion detectors operating the lights and showing off the caves beautifully. We happened to be up there during a rainstorm and seeing rivulets gush out to the rifts in the cliff face was quite something. Also, while we were there an AmeriCorps volunteer working for the Nature Conservancy was taking down the old trail signs and putting up new, good looking hand routed trail signs (like at Mohonk)--definitely a big improvement over the ugly highway department style signs at Minnewaska State Park. (The distances on the signs appeared to be accurate, unlike the MSP signs!)

By the way, here's a plug for the Minnewaska Mountain Houses trail maps sold on this site. They are beautifully printed, have accurate distances (unlike the park signs) and
are great for kids (and grownups) who can't or don't want to read a topographic map.
Yes it is a place worth to visit.. I do have plans for a short family trip and hope for some fun out there..


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