Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sam's Point Preserve, NY

Sam's Point Preserve - The Nature Conservancy
Sam's Point Preserve Trail and Hiking Information - The Nature Conservancy
Sam's Point Preserve - Open Space Institute

Click for Ellenville, New York Forecast

GPS Coordinates 41.670161, -74.361735

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Sam's Point Preserve Parking Lot
Some things to keep in mind about this hike:
  • $10 parking fee - worth every penny
  • parking lot opens at 9 am - get there early to get a parking spot!
  • most people will be at Ice Caves and falls; lots of solitude and views going to High Point
  • virtually no shade throughout the entire hike - bring lots of water, not good for a hot day
  • 2 ladders in the ice caves will most likely be a problem for dogs
  • trails connecting to Minnewaska State Park currently CLOSED (10/8/11)


Shawangunk Trails Map #104 - NY/NJ Trail Conference

Sam's Point/Ice Caves/Verkeerder Kill Falls/High Point Loop with Indian Rock - 10.6 miles
Sam's Point/Ice Caves/Verkeerder Kill Falls/High Point Loop - 9.6 miles
Sam's Point/Ice Caves/Verkeerder Kill Falls Out and Back - 7.3 miles
Sam's Point/Ice Caves Out and Back - 3.75 miles

High Point -

View of Sam's Point from the Trailhead
The trailhead is to the left of the conservation center - take the right fork to Sam's Point.
Follow the aqua-blazed Long Path (Loop Road on the map) to Sam's Point.
A view of High Point Monumnent in New Jersey along the way.
Sam's Point
The conservation center and parking lot from Sam's Point.
View north from Sam's Point.
Continue on to the Ice Caves Loop Trail.
One of the ladders along the Ice Caves Loop Trail.
After the ice caves, continue on to Verkeerder Kill Falls.
The Verkeerder Kill Falls Trail, still the aqua-blazed Long Path, offer continuous views heading towards Minnewaska State Park.
Sign at the top of Verkeerder Kill Falls.
Cross over Verkeerder Kill Falls at the top.
View of Verkeerder Kill Falls from a side path to the right.
The red-blazed High Point Trail has many short rock scrambles along the way.
High Point Trail
High Point Trail
Views from High Point Trail
High Point Benchmark
Views of the Catskills from High Point
Old fire tower footings at the start of the BerrypickerTrail (currently closed)
Boards over swamp on Indian Rock Trail.
Views from Indian Rock Trail
Indian Rock on the left - from this point the trail turns left and descends through a very narrow rock crevice to get to Indian Rock.
Indian Rock
Lake Maratanza from side trail off of Loop Road
Loop Road
Fall foliage along Loop Road
Old berry picker shack

[  0.00]  Take aqua-blazed Long Path (Loop Road on park sign) right fork of trail to left of conservation center towards Sam's Point
[  0.70]  Short side trail to left to Sam's Point
[  0.85]  Retrace and continue on aqua-blazed trail
[  1.35]  Right at fork towards Ice Caves when Loop Road continues to the left
[  1.40]  Keep straight when Verkeerder Falls Trail (aqua-blazed Long Path) goes left
[  1.65]  Turn right down steps to Ice Caves
[  2.10]  Back at beginning of Ice Cave Loop - keep straight
[  2.40]  Turn right on Verkeerder Falls Trail (aqua-blazed Long Path)
                 *** keep straight and return to parking lot for 3.75 mile hike ***
[  3.80]  Enter private property at Leave No Trace sign
[  3.90]  Rock hop over top of falls, look for side trails to right for view of falls
                 *** retrace back to parking lot for 7.3 mile hike ***
[  4.00]  Left on red-blazed High Point Trail
[  6.20]  High Point; continue on red-blazed trail
[  6.65]  Red trail ends; keep straight on blue briefly to views at old fire tower footings; retrace
[  6.75]  Turn right on .1 mile connector trail to High Point Carriageway
[  6.85]  Left on High Point Carriageway
[  8.00]  Right on yellow-blazed Indian Rock Trail
                *** continue straight to return to parking lot for 9.6 mile hike ***
[  8.50]  Indian Rock after trail turns left and descends through narrow rock crevice; retrace
[  9.00]  Right on High Point Carriageway
[  9.30]  Towers on right
[  9.40]  At T-intersection turn right on Loop Road
[  9.50]  Side trail to Maratanza Lake, retrace
[10.25]  Ruins of berry picker shacks begin on right
[10.60]  Back at parking lot


  1. Just found your blog via Shawnie Shep's. Thanks for all the details. Will be reading more about hiking in NJ and the vicinity! (Theresa, aka @tildatoo, posting w/Prudence's acct.)

  2. I like this trail. I did it alone and it was not boring at all! A lot of interesting things and places to see.

  3. Like your hiking partner (German Shepherd), is he for rent?
    Bet it makes for a more interesting time!


    1. She isn't for rent but I am sure there are many more like her in the shelter she came from and other shelters everywhere. Definitely makes for more fun to have her along. She is great company.

  4. Hi! how early would you recommend arriving to grab a parking space? are cars lined up at the entrance before 9am?

    1. I really could not say firsthand since I have not parked there in 7 years and it's now part of Minnewaska State Park but I would say regardless definitely be there when they open because the place gets insanely crowded. Or you can completely bypass the parking issue and hike in remotely like I did 4 years ago. I actually liked that way much better.