Highlights: Rare dwarf pitch pine barrens, waterfalls, views, cliffs, ice caves - this hike has it all!
Where: Cragsmoor, NY
Distance: 10 miles round trip, elevation Gain: 1461 ft
Optional bailout at the falls...Tom from another meetup group will lead you back from falls..a total of about 5 miles
Time: 6 hours
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
Hike Type: Loop
Cost: $10.00 per car (carpooling is suggested)
This is not a hike for beginners.
No kids, no pets, no exceptions.
We will hike at a steady pace with frequent stops at view points over rocky trails and some light rock scrambling. There is 1 steep incline of 200 feet. The hike is long, but the views are fantastic.
Suggestions of what to bring:
3+ liters of water
Lunch and snacks
Bug spray w/ tick repellent (ticks are active)
This hike will take you through Sam's Point preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy. The preserve is part of the Shawangunk ridge extending into Minnewaska State Park. We will hike through a rare and endangered ecosystem, consisting of a dwarf pitch pine barren, one of the few remaining in the world. We will also hike to the ice caves which were formed from the boulders from the cliffs, creating huge rock crevices or caves. The air in the caves gets trapped keeping the interior cold enough for snow to stay through July!
On a clear day you are able to see NY, NJ, CT, MA & VT from the High Point section of the trail! Sweeping vistas of the Catskills, Rondout Valley and High Point monument in NJ are always visible in any direction. This is one hike where you will definitely want your camera charged and ready to go! The trail will take you past Verkeerder Kill Falls (higher than Niagara Falls!) and some old berry picker shacks.
From your home location find your way to Ellenville NY going 209 North. Once in Ellenville take NY 52 south (the turn off will be on your right.) Proceed up the mountain and in about five miles, at the crest of the ridge, turn left at a sign to Cragsmoor. Proceed north for 1.4 miles, turn right in front of the Cragsmoor post office, and then immediately turn right again onto Sam's Point Road which leads to the preserve's visitor center and parking area. [Google Maps: "Sam's Point Preserve, Cragsmoor, NY 12420"]
Carpooling is suggested. If you are looking to carpool please list that in your RSVP and then make arrangements off-line.
A cell phone contact number will be provided for those attending.