Sam's Point and Verkeerderkill Falls Trail

HARD 274 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

Sam's Point and Verkeerderkill Falls Trail is a 8.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cragsmoor, New York that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
990 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

cave

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

The entire hike will take you through the Sam's Point preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy. The preserve is part of the Shawangunk ridge extending into Minnewaska SP. You will hike through a rare and endangered ecosystem, consisting of a Rare Dwarf Pitch Pine barren. One of the few remaining in the world. You will also hike to the Ice Caves which was formed from the talus or boulders from the cliffs, creating huge rock crevices or caves. The air in the Caves gets trapped keeping the inside cold enough for snow to stay through July. Along the way you will also hike up and on top of the many cliffs in the area, another unique feature of the area. You will get views of High Point Monument in NJ, the Hudson Valley as well as the Catskills and the Roundout Valley. Another feature you will pass is the Verkeerder Kill Falls and the Old Berry Picker Shacks from the days when the area was picked for it wild b Blueberries.

hiking
23 days ago

Great place!

hiking
24 days ago

This trail is great in every season!

hiking
25 days ago

This was a great trail to the falls and around the lake. Note that the ice caves trail is closed, as you can’t enter or even see into the caves due to too much snow.

hiking
2 months ago

It was a great trail. Took my two dogs. Beautiful scenery, lots of rock scrambling. Start early!! I started at 11 and finished at 6-ish.

hiking
2 months ago

Did the falls to high point and back. Currently, microspikes are not needed, but did help.

For food hit up the Hoot Owl which is about 10minutes away. Stumbled upon it.. great food and atmosphere!

hiking
2 months ago

Fun trail with a variety of different landscape. I’d recommend going off trail up through rockier paths whenever you get the chance.

hiking
3 months ago

I did this today with my brother (it is January.) After a bit of a heatwave today was a balmy 15 degrees, and all of the snow had melted and then re-froze in the path like a beautiful ice cat walk. There's a solid 3 miles of trail that is completely iced over, and you have to penguin-walk a lot, even with good boots. we fell 3x total. 10/10 will do again.

but seriously, I strongly recommend this in the winter for experienced hikers. A frozen Verkeerderkill Falls is truly spectacular and well worth enduring the cold. There is one section of river that is impossible to cross without dipping a boot, so bag your feet if you're worried about your boots and their water resistance.

Given the very slow moving with the ice, we (ages 26/30) started this at 10:45 and finished at 2:45.

4 months ago

Awesome trail with tons to do. Started in the parking lot at 11am, did the 8.5 mile loop and ice caves and finished at 5pm with a long lunch break

hiking
4 months ago

Loved it so many things too see and do, ice caves are amazing, I did bring my dog w me which I had to help him up the latter lol but all is worth it!!

hiking
5 months ago

Great vistas!

hiking
5 months ago

Loved every second of this hike. The views were incredible and every step was magnificent. The cal foliage definitely enhanced the beauty, but was overall magical. Definitely didn’t think it was hard or difficult. With proper footwear and basic hiking experience it was fairly easy. Definitely plan to return.

hiking
5 months ago

We did Sams Point,Ice Caves, verheebeck falls and High Point loop it is about 11.5 miles took us 6 hours with stops. There are rock scrambles throughout the way but would not rate this hard. The views following the Ridgeline to High Point are incredible We did this hike with our puggle who loved it but he needed a little help with the big rocks tight spaces in the ice caves.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

We hiked this beauty on Sat October 21st. Got to the trail errrs entrance gate to the Park at 8:30am and we were probably the 10th car in line. Park opened at 9 and we got on our way. It costs $10 to park and there are two bathrooms small vending machines and a cute little visitor center.

The weather was absolutely mint and the fall colors were popping so nice. We planned all along to do the Ice Caves, falls and the whole loop basically and we did. All in just shy of 11 miles and we stopped a few times to take in the views and and also had lunch etc. We ended up taking around 6 hours.

There was a few beautiful lookouts pretty early on after a little climb and then the Ice Caves came up quick and early on into the hike. So glad we ventured down and did that little detour as it was pretty cool. Hopped back on the trail and headed to the waterfall which was a few miles away. Again it was a beautiful blue sky, sunshiny fall day with temps in the 60s. I say that because your pretty exposed most of the hike so on a hot summer day your roasting. On our way to the falls you really started to see where the forest fire wrecked havoc a year earlier with hundreds of standing burnt trees and life starting to rebuild around it.

Got to the falls (dribble this time of year plus it hadn’t rained at all). and found a cute spot to chill and have lunch. Not that I recommend this to anyone but the falls were pretty dry so I ventured out as your on top of the falls at this point to the edge. It was straight beauty and a huge fall but amazing.

After the falls there’s a nice steep incline that will get the blood pumping but after that it was a nice walk all along the cliff side then back in and around for 3-4 miles with some rock scrambles and then back down a little and you get to the service road (booooo!). Kinda boring and it’s the last 2 miles but we stopped at the pristine lake and made the most of it.

All in all it was a great day and hike and I definitely recommend. The trail is rated as hard but at best it’s a high moderate in my opinion.

hiking
6 months ago

If the parking lot is full, catch a cab from Ellenville. If your loop includes the ice caves and the high trail, prepare for 10.1 miles, not 8.4. The trail is pretty easy until you get past the falls and up to the ridge. Then it takes some stamina. Very fun and gorgeous the whole way.

6 months ago

We did this with 4 kids, aged 3 to 10. I wish the woman manning the booth would've been even a little helpful when we asked her about what she recommends for the kids. She told us the ice caves takes 2 hours and the falls add an extra hour to the hike. Yea, not even close. The falls added an extra 3 hours! I guess she didn't think it was important to mention that the path was super uber rocky either. Bottom line, the caves were phenomenal, the falls were beautiful, but I don't recommend the falls if you're going with kids. My kids had a blast at the caves, and they even liked the falls, but it wasn't fun carrying my 3 year old over that rough terrain. I'm irate at that park employee.

hiking
6 months ago

We did this hike and went to the ice cave which ended up being ~10 miles
-Whole hike took us 4/4.5 hours with breaks
-There is a $10 parking fee per car which is very reasonable
- Ice cave was fun but SUPER crowded and people tends to stop to take pictures so you have to wait in a line to get thru
- It is dark in the cave so use the flashlight on your phone to be safe
- The hike is pretty flat after the ice cave which got a bit boring and felt super long so be prepare for that.

hiking
6 months ago

Wow! I don't even know where to begin. This was an interesting experience for my partner and I. It took us a lot longer than anticipated due to an injury at the caves. Overall it was a great experience, the trail is not very difficult honestly but the views are magnificent and the flora and fauna is truly one of a kind. Not sure if we will return but it was an experience we will never forget and I do recommend that you visit this trail. Be careful in the ice caves. Do not venture off trail. Try to keep close to the white markers. Enjoy!

6 months ago

I don't think it was hard. It was a easy walk. The trail is super friendly. Great views. Went to the ice cave, which was super fun, followed by the waterfall, a 2.0mile walk. Like I said it wasn't hard at all to get to the viewing point, easy walk.

hiking
6 months ago

I would not consider this trail hard, especially if you don’t mind a bit of rock scrambling. The last part (2.8 miles) follow a service road. However, I would not hike this path on hot days! You will be above tree line and exposed to the sun the entire time. Make sure to bring enough water!!! I especially enjoyed the trail since I was lucky to hike during the week. So I didn’t run into anyone on the trail. Views are amazing (since it was so hot today the haze got a bit in the way). I added the Ice Cave as well!

hiking
6 months ago

Definitely a steel and challenging hike but beautiful views the entire time. Will be going back and certainly recommend

6 months ago

Did this trail and went off trail for the ice caves. Amazing experience and views around every corner. Must see ice caves and waterfall

hiking
7 months ago

Went on a rainy and foggy day but still very beautiful.

hiking
7 months ago

Love this trail! Beautiful views, ice caves are awesome and the falls are amazing. I would rate this hike as moderate, not very hard at all unless a little rock scrambling isn't your thing. Definitely recommend this hike.

7 months ago

One of my favorite places to hike such beautiful views.

hiking
7 months ago

This is a great hike. Different types of terrain and vegetation to see re growing, especially after the fire. There are other trails I'll be back to do. I somehow stop my recorder at one point but did around 10.5 miles.

hiking
7 months ago

I can't say enough about Sam's Point Preserve - from the overlook, the ice caves, Indian Rock, Verkeerder Kill Falls, all of it. It's just an amazing place to explore, whether in whole or in sections. I've been here 4 times in the last month and continue to look forward to going back and exploring. The Falls trail just reopened last week after being closed for more than a year due to the fire in 2016. It does not disappoint - the trail is amazing itself and the falls are spectacular. Great place to rest and soak your feet after all your efforts!

hiking
8 months ago

The ice caves were awesome! The falls there are well worth the 3.5ml round trip, would do them both again

hiking
8 months ago

Logged a little over 11 miles. Saw Sam's Point, the ice caves, the falls, High Point, and the Berry Picker cabins. All together took about 6 hours. Excellent hike. Steep in certain parts with some short rock scrambles-- exhausted at the end of the day, but had a blast.

hiking
8 months ago

This place was incredible. Hiked for 6 hours. Went to sams point then the ice caves. Saw the falls and went to high point. There were still a few more trails I wanted to do but the park closes at 8! Only so much you can walk in one day too! Great hiking trails.

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