Sam’s Point, Ice Caves, Verkeerderkill Falls

This is a truly unforgettable Shawangunks adventure. Iconic!

Hike Length: 7.5 miles (12.07 km)

Total Ascent: 1,000ft (305m)

Intensity: Moderate Hike

Route Type: Out-and-Back

Includes: Blazed Trail, Rock Scrambles

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Verkeerder Falls Trail

Verkeerder Falls

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 A delightful out-and-back

The Sam’s Point / Ice Caves / Verkeerderkill Falls hike through Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Cragsmoor, NY, offers an unforgettable adventure, blending the serenity of highland forests with the dramatic beauty of rugged cliffs, frigid scrambles, and cascading waterfalls.

Starting your hike at Sam’s Point, you’ll traverse one of the highest elevations in the Shawangunks, offering sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and distant peaks. The area is renowned for its unique ecosystem, featuring dwarf pine barrens and rare flora that paint the landscape with vibrant colors through the seasons.

As you venture deeper into the preserve, you’ll encounter the Ice Caves—a series of natural crevices and caverns where ice persists well into the warmer months, creating a cool, otherworldly atmosphere.

Continuing your hike, the trail leads to the majestic Verkeerderkill Falls. This 187-foot waterfall plunges into a rocky gorge, creating a breathtaking spectacle.

Sam’s Point Preserve is more than just a hike; it’s an immersive experience that connects you with the raw beauty and ecological diversity of the Shawangunk Mountains. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, the Sam’s Point / Ice Caves / Verkeerderkill Falls hike promises a memorable adventure.

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Sam’s Point / Ice Caves / Verkeerderkill Falls Hike

The Sam’s Point / Ice Caves / Verkeerderkill Falls hiking trail includes…

  • Scenic views
  • Boardwalks
  • Mix of easy / hard trails
  • Wooden ladders and boardwalks
  • Dwarf pitch pines
  • Tight icy rock caverns
  • Stunning waterfall
  • You might see a porcupine or a rattlesnake
  • Option for a loop exit

A full breakdown is provided in the hike notes below, with 15 awe-inspiring photos.

Sam’s Point / Ice Caves / Verkeerderkill Falls Hike Time

Allow 3-4 hours for this hike.

 Warning! In warmer months, this hike includes potential exposure to rattlesnakes.

Sam’s Point / Ice Caves / Verkeerderkill Falls Elevation Gain

The elevation gain for this hike is 1000 feet (apx 300 meters).

Parking at Sam’s Point Preserve

Paid parking reservations are required on weekends and holidays from late-April through early-November. Reservations can be made through Reserve America by visiting or calling 1-800-456-2267. Reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance. They are strict about this. Make sure you arrive during your selected time slot, too!

Sam’s Point / Ice Caves / Verkeerderkill Falls Trail Notes & Gallery

The Ice Caves Trail is a challenging trail. It contains ice flows, water, narrow crevices, low rock ceilings, dark areas, and boardwalks. It’s super fun but please use extra caution here and wear appropriate and sturdy footwear.

This route is also quite exposed so, on hot summer days, make sure you’re wearing your best SPF and some bug spray.

Begin at the parking lot and look for the trail’s beginning which is to the east (right) of the parking area and nature center.

Lenape Steps

Make your way up the wide paved trail to the Lenape Steps, which reopened on March 26, 2022 as a durable and historic reconstruction of the iconic ascent to Sam’s Point, originally created 164 years ago. Over three seasons of dedicated labor, the Jolly Rovers Trail Crew meticulously crafted and precisely placed 89 steps and numerous anchoring stones. Spanning from a width of 10 feet at the lower entrance to just 2 feet at the narrowest point, these steps seamlessly blend with the surrounding cliff faces, preserving the natural harmony of the landscape.

Lenape Steps at Sams Point Verkeerder Falls Trail
Lenape Steps at Sam’s Point Preserve

Sam’s Point

The top of the steps leads out onto the Sam’s Point with it’s stunning wide view…

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Trailhead Info for this Hike

Large lot, popular location. You must book ahead.

Google Maps Location: 41.669834, -74.361511

The map below shows the exact topographic location of the trailhead

Cell Service

Surprisingly sketchy throughout. Only had a few bars, and often no bars. My network is Verizon. YMMV.