Start receiving our award-winning magazine today!


New York

Sam's Point Preserve

Help us protect the Sam's Point Preserve by making a secure, online donation.

Visitor Alert


Effective Thursday, January 1st, 2015: Sam’s Point Preserve will be closed during the months of January, February, and March. Sam’s Point Preserve will reopen in April 2015 under new management. Sam’s Point Preserve will be part of Minnewaska State Park Preserve and operated by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and The Palisades Interstate Park Commission effective April 2015. Should you wish to visit the region during the winter season, please consider Minnewaska State Park Preserve. For information on permitted activities and conditions at Minnewaska, please call 845-255-0752 or visit The Nature Conservancy apologizes for any inconvenience.

About Sam's Point

Perched atop the highest point of the Shawangunk Ridge, south of Mohonk and Minnewaska State Park Preserves, lies Sam’s Point Preserve — 5,400 acres sheltering one of the best examples of ridgetop dwarf pine barrens in the world. Home to nearly 40 rare plant and animal species and three rare natural communities, the northern Shawangunks represent one of the highest priorities for conservation in the Northeastern United States.

In 1996, after nearly 25 years of negotiations, the Open Space Institute secured protection of the Sam's Point area with the assistance of a large number of partners, including the Lila Acheson and Dewitt Wallace Fund for the Hudson Highlands and The Nature Conservancy. Today, the preserve is owned by the Open Space Instititute and managed by the Conservancy's Eastern New York Chapter. You can also play a role in the Conservancy’s long-term success in this region when you make a safe and secure online gift to support our work.

In 2005, the preserve celebrated the opening of the Sam’s Point Conservation Center. The 3,000 square foot building, which meets the standards of the U.S. Green Building Council, complements and reflects the dramatic setting of Sam’s Point and the surrounding Shawangunk Ridge. The center was designed by Bialecki Architects.

For information on visiting Sam's Point, group visit and permits for Shingle Gully/Ellenville Ice Caves, please contact:

Cara Lee, Senior Conservation Manager
845-255-9051 ext. 10 or

Group Visits Guidelines

To keep Sam's Point protected for future generations, The Nature Conservancy asks group visitors (12 or more people) to adhere to certain procedures.

  1. We require a minimum of one week advance notice prior to a group (12 or more people) visit. To arrange a group visit, please call (845) 647-7989 ext 100
  2. Groups may not exceed 30 people.
  3. Group visits are allowed only on Mondays and Fridays.
  4. The Conservancy reserves the right to refuse or dismiss any group for misconduct.  

For information on visiting Sam's Point, group visit and permits for Shingle Gully/Ellenville Ice Caves, please contact:
Victoria Latini, Guest Services Assistant
845-647-7989 Ext. 100 or

Home to nearly 40 rare plants and animals and three rare natural communities, the Northern Shawangunks represent one of the highest priorities for conservation in the northeastern United States.  So, whether you consider yourself a first-rate birder or a just a novice at wildlife identification, you're bound to find something out-of-the ordinary at Sam's Point.

More than 200 species of migratory and nesting birds call Sam's Point home.  With binoculars in tow, you're sure to see some tiny warblers or flycatchers flitting about.  Larger birds can be seen as well, like hawks, falcons, vultures, and ravens.

Black bears, bobcats, foxes, fishers, timber rattlesnakes, and spotted salamanders can all be found at Sam's Point. While not as fuzzy as a fox or as far traveled as a migratory songbird, Sam's Point is still a haven for some amazingly rare and endangered plants and flowers.

Pitch pine is the dominant tree in the minimally fertile pine barrens, while blueberry, huckleberry and sheep laurel comprise most of the shrub layer. A few of the rare species you might come upon are clustered sedge, appalachian sandwort, mountain spleenwort, artic rush, and rhodora.

Will you help us continue our work at Sam's Point?


From the South:

  • Take Interstate 87 to Rt. 17W to Exit 119/Rt 302. 
  • Make a right onto Rt. 302.
  • Go 10 miles to Pine Bush.
  • In Pine Bush make a left onto Rt. 52. Go approximately 6 miles.
  • Look for a green sign for Cragsmoor pointing to the right. Shortly after the sign make a right on Cragsmoor Road.
  • Go one mile to the Cragsmoor post office.
  • Make a right in front of post office. Go a short distance and make a right onto Sam's Point Road; follow for approximately 1 3/4 mile to the entrance of the Preserve.


From the North:

  • Take Interstate 87 to Kingston. 
  • In Kingston take Rt. 209/Ellenville. 
  • Follow Rt. 209 to Ellenville center. 
  • Turn left onto Rt. 52; follow for approximately four miles. 
  • Look for a green sign pointing left. Shortly after the sign, make a left onto Cragsmoor Road. 
  • Follow directions above from Cragsmoor Road to the Preserve.


From the East:

  • Cross the Mid-Hudson Bridge and take Route 9W north approximately five miles to Route 299.
  • Turn left on 299 and go through New Paltz to intersection wtih Rt. 44/55.
  • Make a right onto Rt. 44/55; follow to Rt. 209. 
  • Make a left onto 209 going towards Ellenville. 
  • In Ellenville center turn left onto Rt. 52. 
  • Follow directions above from Rt. 52 in Ellenville.

Parking Fee:  $10.00


Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

comments powered by Disqus

Read our guidelines on posting comments

We’re Accountable

The Nature Conservancy makes careful use of your support.

More Ratings