Here are a couple of pictures from my hike with my sons from last October at Sam’s Point Preserve located in Cragsmoor in Ulster County New York. .
Sam's Point is a 5,400-acre preserve that sits on the highest point of the Shawangunk Ridge, south of Mohonk and Minnewaska State Park Preserves. The Preserve is owned by the Open Space Institute and managed by The Nature Conservancy.
It was beautiful day and a lot of fun but very exhausting. The hike to the Ice Cave and the Verkeerderkill Falls and back was about an eight-mile hike. It is the longest hike to date for my two sons. The trails were very rocky.
The best part of the hike for us was along the side of the ridge and the Ice Caves. The Verkeerderkill Falls was a disappointment from the top of the falls. I think most waterfalls are better enjoyed at the bottom of the falls.
This hike climbs to Sam's Point, with spectacular views, follows a narrow path through the crevices of the Ice Caves, and continues to Verkeerderkill Falls - the highest waterfall in the Shawangunks. The whole loop is not suitable for very young children. My two sons, 7 and 10 years old at the time, were very tied after the 6 hour hike: Stop often and bring lots of water and snacks.
Moderate to strenuous loop trail about 8 miles of exposed rocks and roots. No long uphills or downhills except some rock scrambling in the Ice Caves.
From the South: Take the New York Thruway (Interstate 87) to Rt. 17 West to Exit 119 and continue on Rt. 302 North for about 10 miles to Pine Bush. In Pine Bush, Rt. 302 ends, make a left onto Rt. 52 and continue for about 6 miles. Just before the crest of a hill, turn right onto Cragsmoor Road. Go about one mile to the Cragsmoor post office and make a right in front of post office, continue for a short distance and make a right onto Sam's Point Road and follow it for about 1.7 miles to the entrance of the Preserve.
From the North: Take New York Thruway to Kingston. In Kingston, take Rt. 209/Ellenville. Follow Rt. 209 to Ellenville center. Turn left onto Rt. 52 and continue for about four miles. Look for a green sign pointing left to Cragsmoor Road. Shortly after the sign, make a left onto Cragsmoor Road. Go about one mile to the Cragsmoor post office and make a right in front of post office, continue for a short distance and make a right onto Sam's Point Road and follow it for about 1.7 miles to the entrance of the Preserve.