Overview: This hike climbs to Sam's Point, with spectacular views, follows a narrow path through the crevices of the Ice Caves, and continues to the glorious Verkeerderkill Falls - the highest waterfall in the Shawangunks.
Time: 4.5 hours
Difficulty: **Moderate to Strenuous**
Length: 7.4 miles
Pace: 2 mph on elevated terrain, 3 mph on level, 4 mph on downhill/easy
Route Type: Out and back
Dogs: Allowed on leash
It is your responsibility to maintain pace with the group, meaning no one will be waiting for stragglers or slower hikers. It's imperative that you keep up with the hike leader to avoid getting lost or left behind. Be prepared to turn around if maintaining pace with the group is not possible. Sunset will be 6:20pm on Sat 10/12.
It's your responsibility to bring enough food and water (3 liters are recommended) for this trip or more if you think you need it. You are required to dress appropriately for the season and have the proper equipment such as hiking boots. Please read the mileage and difficulty and make sure you are physically able to complete this hike at a moderate pace. Hike times are only estimated and actual finish times might vary depending on a number of factors.
This is a special hike because the preserve doesn't allow large groups, only 11 people max. These restrictions are because this month is the busiest part of the hiking season for Sam's Point Preserve. Parking is limited so carpooling is strongly encouraged. The parking lot gets so full on the weekends this time of year that it usually closes around 11:00 AM. A $10 parking fee is charged and will be collected upon entry to the parking lot.
This link provides a detailed description of the trail we are hiking. Please print and bring with you on the hike for your reference. http://www.nynjtc.org/hike/ice-caves-and-verkeerderkill-falls
This link is a map of the trail we are hiking. I marked in red the trail we are hiking and marked in blue dashes an optional extension for anyone who wants to hike more than 8 miles. Please print and bring with you on the hike for your reference.
From the trail head through the ice caves, the trail blazes are white. After the ice caves to the Verkeerderkill Falls, the trail blazes are aqua blue.
Driving Directions: Take NJ 17 north to the New York Thruway and continue to Exit 16. Proceed west on NY 17 to Exit 119, turn right at the end of the ramp, and continue north on NY 302 for 9.6 miles to Pine Bush, where NY 302 ends. Turn left onto NY 52 and continue for 7.3 miles. Just before the crest of the hill, turn right onto Cragsmoor Road. In 1.3 miles, turn right in front of the Cragsmoor post office, take the next right onto Sam's Point Road, and follow it for about 1.2 miles to its end at the parking area for the preserve.