24 Mar Sam’s Point and Verkeederkill Falls Hike:
Minnewaska State Park
There’s not much to do during the Covid 19 Pandemic other than hikes and walks in places which boast enough space for social distancing. I was happy to find out that Sam’s Point Preserve, the most southern section of Minneswaska State Park and on the highest section of the Shawangunk Mountains, was still open (although they only allow 50% of the parking lot to be occupied during the pandemic). We arrived in the early afternoon and were told the parking lot was full already. As we were about to leave we saw a car pulling out of the parking lot so we were able to get a spot.
We decided to take the wide (Fat Trail) path to Sam’s Point: a magnificent rock outcrop with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Fat Trail to Sam’s Point is an uphill carriage road path. The Lenape Steps just below Sam’s Point are in the process of being reconstructed. It is a historic staircase of 100+ steps which brings visitors up to Sam’s Point.
After enjoying the most breathtaking views at Sam’s Point we continued on to Verkeederkill Falls. The trail to Verkeederkill Falls was not a carriage road but a rocky nature trail with beautiful views of the surrounding areas. The path did not ascend or descend much and wasn’t especially difficult. The 2.1 mile addition to our hike was well worth it. The path took us over the rocks at the top of the waterfall to get to the other side of the waterfall to get a view of the falls. We were awed by the 187 foot tall waterfall cascading over the rocky ledge. We sat on the rocks and enjoyed the view of the waterfall and the surrounding mountains before doing the 2.1 mile hike in reverse until we met up with the carriage road that took us back down to the parking lot. The woman who answered the information line at Sam’s Point advised us to count on 4 hours out and back to Verkeederkill Falls (I’m amazed at how well the phone line is manned by the helpful guides). I think that was indeed the amount of time we needed to complete the hike. Now I’m looking forward to visit the Ice Caves once that trail is open again.
Posted: April 19, 2020
Information, prices and hours posted here are current as of the posted or updated date. It is advisable to call ahead or check online to confirm hours and prices.
400 Sam’s Point Road
Cragsmoor, NY 12420
Sam’s Point opens at 9:00 am and closing times vary throughout the year.