Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sam's Point Preserve, NY - South Gully Trail

ABOUT THE PARK: 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

GPS Coordinates  41.69251, -74.39387

Parking is on Old Route 52 which is a woods road off of Route 52.  The Long Path follows this gravel road.  There is room for a few cars and a place beyond where these cars are parked to turn around.

TRAIL MAPS: Shawangunk Trails Map #104 - NY/NJ Trail Conference
Shawangunk Ridge Trails Map 3 - NY/NJ Trail Conference (free map)
Sam's Point Reserve, NY - South Gully Trail at EveryTrail

HIKE DISTANCE:  8.4 miles

Walk back out to Route 52, turn left and walk just a short distance to where the trail continues on the right before the bridge and across from two houses.
The trail starts out relatively flat and smooth. 
This hike follows the aqua-blazed Long Path the entire time, this part also named the South Gully Trail.
The trail follows high above South Gully down below.
The trail becomes more rugged and is mostly uphill.
We took three breaks on the way up.  Be sure you eat your Wheaties before starting out!
The trail does finally meet up with South Gully with some cascades and small waterfalls along with a few rock hops over.
The only road crossed is South Gully Road where you turn left then cross to the continuation of the trail on the right.
Continuation of the trail after crossing South Gully Road.
That is the "You did remember to bring my chicken jerky, didn't you?" look.
Mountain Laurel will be blooming soon!
Up at top it's like taking a step back in time - trees are just starting to bloom where down below everything is in full bloom.
At the old berry picker shack it is almost the end of the South Gully Trail.
I have seen 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 miles for the South Gully Trail but my GPS and pedometer are in agreement that we measured it at about 3.1 miles.
Several more old berry picker shacks along the way.
The Long Path now follows the gravel Sam's Point Road.
The main parking lot for Sam's Point Preserve where a $10 parking fee is charged.  Hike in on the South Gully Trail and it's free!  Plus, the lot is already full at 11 AM.
Heading up to Sam's Point with the throngs of visitors who drove up.
One more mile from the South Gully Trail to Sam's Point for outstanding views.
The parking lot from Sam's Point.
The Catskills
Lots and lots of people come here in season.
Some of them should not be allowed to come.
Heading back down.
High Point Monument in New Jersey

Properly disposing of litter in recycling container at the Visitor Center for those who were too lazy to do so themselves.
And one more break.  Mostly downhill from this point so we did not need any more breaks.
Looking back up from the visitor center.
It is Memorial Day weekend and the ice caves are still closed!  Must be a lot of ice in there still from the awful winter we had.
As great as the views were, so nice to be back in the quiet, peaceful woods that we had all to ourselves.
Crossing back over South Gully Road.
Views of the Catskills from the South Gully Trail.
Back at Route 52.
Hang gliders!

[  0.00]  Walk back to Route 52, turn left a short distance, cross over to the right before the bridge and opposite two houses to access the aqua-blazed Long Path/South Gully Trail
[  1.50]  Rock hop over creek
[  1.95]  Rock hop over creek
[  2.15]  Rock hop over creek
[  2.20]  Turn left on South Gully Road then cross over to right to continue on trail
[  3.25]  End of South Gully Trail, turn right on gravel Sam's Point Road
[  3.50]  Visitor Center and parking on right; continue on Sam's Point Road to right of kiosk towards Sam's Point
[  4.20]  Sam's Point; retrace
[  4.80]  Visitor Center and parking lot; continue on Sam's Point Road
[  5.15]  Turn left on South Gully Trail
[  8.30]  Cross Route 53
[  8.40]  Back at parking


  1. I thought I had read that TNC either got rid of or significantly reduced the $10 parking fee at Sam's Point. I know that once-upon-a-time I pulled into that lot, saw the price tag and promptly left for other, more affordable climes...


    1. The Nature Conservancy site still says $10, although I cannot say firsthand since I did not park there.


  2. That's a pretty awesome hike there mates! The frost has finally broken here in Wyoming so maybe our sceeniks will be somthin other than frozen tundra BOL!!!!


    ps - Shawnee- come by an check out me an Nanük's new boots!! Woo should have seen him doing the high steps! Not me though- I took right to mine:) Play bows,

    1. I will send Shawnee over to check it out but I am warning you - she doesn't do boots :)


  3. I take it you DID forget the chicken jerky :(

    1. No, I swear, I did not forget! I only made that mistake once. I learned my lesson, let me tell you!


    2. PS - And it can ONLY be chicken jerky for hikes. When out of chicken jerky I have tried taking other snacks along that she happily munches down at home only to have her spit them back out at me out on hikes.

  4. Beautiful photos and I love your dog! I've been up to Sam's Point and the Ice Trail. It's a great spot!

    1. Thank you! We did the Ice Caves/Verderkill Falls/High Point Loop in October 2011 The only problem was my dog has issues with ladders and there are two in the ice caves. I had to promise her we would not go there this time. Even though the caves were closed, she is just too old to do it now anyway. Here is a short video of her attempting a ladder the last time:


  5. I love reading your blog, been reading for a while's always so informative and the pictures are great. Thank you for taking the time to write it. And, your dog is just too cute!!

    1. Thank you so much for the nice feedback :)


  6. Nice hike and photos. I stumbled upon your blogspot just now while searching the S gulley trail online. Yeah people are scumbags for leaving their trash on the trail. Planning to do a loop hike from that first road you crossed. dunno if I can park off that rd bc it looks private. Cool dog btw.

    1. I think you might be able to park there. I don't recall firsthand but in the picture it looks like there is a pull-out right there where the trail crosses and it's a public road so worth checking out. And thanks, I agree, she is a very cool dog :)


  7. If'n I was to put together a hike up South Gully, that included Ice caves, verkeerderkill falls, Lake mataranza, and sams point, approximately how long would that hike be? Also, If'n I were to continue down south gully to explore the ruins of the Nevele Hotel......How possible would that be? I figure if I park my carz at old route 52, it should be easy to sneak in there right? Your thoughts?

    1. You would have to add this mileage to the mileage of the other Sam's Point hike in the side bar on the right, which I believe was 10 miles or so.