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New York

Sam's Point Preserve


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Visitor Alerts

LIMITED PARKING Please be aware that during the season, April through November, parking on weekends and holidays is limited. Plan to arrive early to help secure a parking space and to avoid being turned away. Visiting during weekdays is encouraged. Parking along Sam's Point Road is prohibited and is strictly enforced by the NY State Police and the Ulster County Sheriff's Office. Parking Fee is $10.00.

TRAIL REOPENS: The Ice Caves Trail is now open.

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.

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

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:
 
Victoria Latini, Guest Services Assistant
845-647-7989 Ext. 100 or vlatini@tnc.org
 
For all other inquiries, contact:
 
Heidi Wagner, Preserve Manager
845-647-7989 Ext.101 or hwagner@tnc.org

Hunting Info

Deer hunting is conducted by permit only during the New York hunting season. To obtain a permit for hunting at Sam’s Point Preserve during the 2012-2013 season, please download and complete the application and email it with hunting program in the subject line to mcrawford@tnc.org or mail it to:

Sam’s Point Preserve
Attn: Hunting Program
PO Box 86
Cragsmoor, NY 12420

If you hunted or received a hunting permit at Sam’s Point last year, you need to download and complete the 2011-2012 questionnaire or you will not receive a permit. For more information, contact Michael Crawford at (845) 647-7989 ext.103 or email mcrawford@tnc.org.

Applications are also available at Sam’s Point Conservation Center.

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 vlatini@tnc.org

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?

Beginning October 8th, the preserve will close at 5:00 pm.

Winter hours: 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.

Beginning May 1st, the preserve will close at 7:00 pm.

Summer hours are from 9:00 am until 7:00 pm.

The conservation center is open Thursday through Monday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm.
The conservation center is open from mid-April through mid-November.

Directions

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

Discussion

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!

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