Hiking trails are among the greatest secret treasures of living in this diverse landscape of the Hudson Valley . The trails in this area are one of the most consistently persuasive reasons to venture outside and persevere through the winters. A beginner can cut her teeth on short, well marked paths all up and down Rt. 9W or a seasoned hiker can take advantage of hikes that take multiple hours or all day. There are plenty of options along the Hudson River out of small towns like Cold Spring, Garrison, West Point , or a little further north to the Shawangunk Mountains . Your dog will need a water bowl for the long hike dot forget to get one,
My favorite local hike is near Cragsmoor , New York and is the southern most and highest point of the Shawangunk Mountain Range. There are also several parks in the Shawangunks, but Sam’s Point Preserve is unique and offers several options for spending the day. On your honor, you should leave a nominal parking fee of $7.00 to spend the day at Sam’s Point and it is well worth it once you leave the organized base with free and clean bathrooms.
Sam’s Point Preserve is approximately 5 miles south of Ellenville , NY off of Highway 52. Just take the turn towards Cragsmoor and follow it to Sam’s Point Road . Although Sam’s Point is the highest point and offers lovely views of the whole mountain range, it is hardly the only thing to see if you venture out to this majestic range. The Ice Caves offer a short a one mile loop and give a cool respite from the summer heat. The carved pathways through the rock are a compelling change of pace that are unique to this New York Trail. If you are up for a longer moderate hike, the Verkeeder Kill Falls Trail takes approximately 3 miles to reach an enchanting waterfall. The waterfall is certainly worth the trip, but the path to the falls is an equally valuable reason to take this day long hike. Starting atop mountain rock and dense green vegetation the path transforms to a field of waist high red leaf brush. As you wade through a virtual sea of color along a narrow trail the forest changes once again to the white bark of Beech trees. The entire route offers the beauty of New York forests and a speedy recovery from the gloom of the winter months. Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy one of the greatest splendors of the state that are free and open to all.
New York/New Jersey Trails www.nynjtc.org/park/sams-point-dwarf-pine-ridge-preserve