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Sams Point Loop, Shawangunks

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Rare Dwarf Pitch Pine Barrens, Water Falls, Views, Cliffs, Ice Caves
Near:Cragsmoor, NY
Distance:10 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:1461 ft
Hike Time:5 hours
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots

Summary: The entire hike will take you through the Sam's Point preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy. The preserve is part of the Shawangunk ridge extending into Minnewaska SP. You will hike through a rare and endangered ecosystem, consisting of a Rare Dwarf Pitch Pine barren. One of the few remaining in the world. You will also hike to the Ice Caves which was formed from the talus or boulders from the cliffs, creating huge rock crevices or caves. The air in the Caves gets trapped keeping the inside cold enough for snow to stay through July. Along the way you will also hike up and on top of the many cliffs in the area, another unique feature of the area. You will get views of High Point Monument in NJ, the Hudson Valley as well as the Catskills and the Roundout Valley. Another feature you will pass is the Verkeerder Kill Falls and the Old Berry Picker Shacks from the days when the area was picked for it wild b Blueberries.
Trailhead: From Wurtsboro and Rt17. Take rt. 209 North to Ellenville. Once in Ellenville make a right onto rt. 52. Take rt. 52 up mountain. Make a right onto Cragsmore Rd. Take Cragsmore to Sam’s Point Rd. Make Right onto Sam’s Point Rd and take to end. (Lat:41.4011 Lon:-74.214)
Trail Guides for Sams Point Loop, Shawangunks:
Shawangunk Trails map
by NY-NJ trail conference  ()

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Nature Conservancy: 845-647-7989
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Shawn Viggiano, who has posted  44 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 6   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Michael on 10/19/2013
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Reviewed by Tommyb on 5/29/2011
Hiked it with my daughter Kelly. She loved it, not to hard for a novice hiker.

Reviewed by JCS on 4/17/2011
Almost instantly you are rewarded with beautiful vistas that you would not expect to see in NY. Ability to see 5 states on a clear day. The ice caves were fun to explore and the falls are beautiful. If you are into geology you will love this place! One of the prettiest, most scenic and rewarding hikes in the area. Enjoy!

Reviewed by Kyle J on 5/6/2010
One of the best hiking spots in the surrounding NY area, the trails are relatively easy and the views are fantastic. The most appealing feature to me is the variety of terrain, a long line of rocky cliffs, a nice looking lake, Ice caves, a sunken valley riddled with caves (not on most maps)Giant glacier carried rocks, and your normal woodland. Theres alot of exploring to be done, both on and off the trails

Reviewed by Ryan on 3/22/2010
This was my least favorite hike ever. After a weird unfriendly interaction at the visitor's center, we were disappointed by a mile+ hike on snowy dirt roads. (warning to anyone looking for an early spring hike - that's our fault). The high point summit was really quite nice (great views, like everyone's said), but from there until we got back to the paved loop road (6 miles?) we had pretty much constant water in the trail - ranging from puddles to an outright stream. Between this and intermitted trail markers, these were some poor trail conditions (and i've never seen such a disparity between the condition of a visitor center and it's trail maintenance). Also, there was a tourist vibe all around with yelling teenagers and slow hikers w

Reviewed by elke on 12/16/2009
Long time favorite of mine. Long views of the Hudson valley and the Catskills. Glacial Lake swimming hole just before finish. Option to go north to Mud Pond and Lake Awosting through Minnewaska State Park all the way to Mohonk Lake at the Mohonk Mountain House. Follow the cliffs.

Reviewed by jerry on 9/23/2009
Great hike with wife, 5 yr old daughter and 3 collies . daughter did about 6 miles carried her in pack rest of way. trail to falls was like a stream bed after lots of rain. had to pick little up over some rocks ,but she is a trooper . falls were beautiful and flowing wildly

Reviewed by Christian on 8/19/2009
It is a left onto Cragsmoor Road off of 52 ...A nice hike... The ice caves were very interesting...Rocky terrain on the way to the Verkeerder Falls means wear proper hiking boots with ankle support... Many insects and spray will not help, just deal with it ....

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: New York Hiking, New York Trails, New York Hikes, Ulster County Hiking, Ulster County Trails, Ulster County Hikes

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