Sam's Point Preserve Loop Hike

Lake Minnewaska and surrounding areas as they are now.
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Sam's Point Preserve Loop Hike

Post by petercbenson »

Just wanted to recommend a Shawangunks hike not too far from Minnewaska, a bit west of Lake Awosting at Sam's Point Preserve. The route I chose resulted in a full day hike (12:00 to 5:00) but much shorter family-friendly hikes to Sam's Point, the Ice Caves, and Awosting Falls could also be taken.

Entry info: There's a $7 per car fee to park. There are snack and beverage machines and flush toilets and sinks in the spiffy new Conservation Center. I was there on a Sunday, and there were various kid-friendly educational workshops going on in the center, with live animals (One bird flew up into the rafters and refused to move!) Note that this is a private preserve run by the Open Space Institute and the Nature Conservancy. Unfortunately, the NY State Golden Passport that gets you into Minnewaska for free isn't accepted at Sam's Point. Here's the URL of the Sam's Point Preserve website for more information and directions to the Conservation Center Parking Lot. ... 12207.html

Trail Route:
Start at the Conservation Center
Take the right Loop Road trail
Enjoy the view from Sam's Point
Continue on Loop Road to junction with Ice Caves Road
Turn right onto Ice Caves Road
Explore Ice Caves
Backtrack to blue Verkeerder Kill Falls Trail
Turn right onto blue Verkeerder Kill Falls Trail
Admire Verkeerder Kill Falls
Turn left onto red High Point Trail
Enjoy the view from High Point
Turn left onto High Point Carriageway
Turn right onto yellow Indian rock Trail
Climb Indian Rock
Backtrack and turn right onto High Point CW
Go right onto the Loop Road
Admire Lake Maratanza
Pass berry picker shack ruins
End at Conservation Center

Highlights of the trip: Far-ranging views from overlooks at Sam's Point, High Point, and Indian Rock, the spectacular 180 foot Verkeerder Falls (especially after heavy rains), otherworldly dwarf pine barrens, and the collapsed shacks and rusting refrigerators and matress frames of the 1950's berry picker sites.

Trail Notes: the Ice Caves are closed during the late fall, winter, and early spring. I hiked in mid April, in 80 degree weather, and the Ice Cave steps were still a sheet of impassable ice. I look forward to returning in the summer. It appeared that the blue blazed long path trail between Lake Awosting and Verkeerder Falls has been restored and reblazed. I can't verify this 100%, however, as I didn't follow it for very long.

Possible dangers and annoyances: black bears have been sighted on the trails. There was definitely evidence of bear scat and footprints on the trail. Black bears are shy and do their best to avoid humans, but it's good to keep alert. Some of the trails are fairly remote. You may want to bring a loud whistle such as the Fox-40 (about $5 at any outdoors store), especially if you hike alone. Some of the old carriage roads had severe rutting from the recent heavy rains and flooding. The High Point Trail has a few areas that require some minor rock scrambling where you may need to use your hands. There's not a lot of tree cover on the trail so expect to be in the sun much of the way. Don't forget your sunblock and SPF rated lip balm and pack plenty of water!

Here's a link to an album of photos from my hike:

Hope to see ya on the trails!
Last edited by petercbenson on Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Shawangunk Ridge Hike every October

Post by guest »

Just a reminder that the Mohonk Preserve sponsors a Shawangunk Ridge Hike every year around the 2nd weekend in October from Sam's Point back to the Preserve center or shorter if you wish.
old girl scout

Sam's Point memories

Post by old girl scout »

Today I was going to do a Sam's Point hike, but alas, I'm home sick, so instead I enjoyed looking at Pete's photos. Thanks for sharing them, Pete.

The first time I went there was 1975, from Mud Pond area over to a fire tower. I had to carry my pup part of the way because it was such a long hike. We went up the tower. I wish it were still there.

The last time I was at Sam's Point was 1983, as always, with the dog. I brought paints and did a watercolor. I still have the painting, and photos. I wish my dog was still here.

looking forward to going back there soon,



Post by playhockey56 »

Pete, thanks for posting the hike information and the cool pics. I live in Colorado now but plan on returning to the lower NY State area in the fall of 2008 for a 35th high school reunion (I can't believe I'm that old!). I plan on a 10-day visit. My reunion is in northern NJ but I plan on spending the majority of my time in the Minnewaska area. Towards the end of this year I will start looking for places to stay in that area that are reasonably priced. If anyone knows of decent places such as B & B's or short-term effeciency rentals, whatever, please post the information.

Information on this web site such as Pete's hike will be really valuable to me as I plan on doing as much hiking as I can fit in while I am visiting. I can't wait!!

Re: Sam's Point Preserve Loop Hike

Post by Missy »

Sam's Point! I love it there. I take anyone who is willing to go with me! I used to go when I was little and its like I forgot about it. I had to go up there for an architectural design class final to sketch the building and look at its "green" components and I just had to keep going back. I probable went a dozen times last summer. The falls there are great, the path seemed to go on forever, but it was worth it. (I'm also sure that my excitement make it seem longer) There are so many amazing places up there that people don't take advantage of and for $7, and a 20 minute drive for me, there is nothing I would rather do. ^__^
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Re: Sam's Point Preserve Loop Hike

Post by Christian »

playhockey there are some B&Bs and other options if you want e-mail me at and i'll drop you some names and numbers as i live very close to minnewaska
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