Sam's Point Preserve is a unique area within the greater Minnewaska State Park Preserve and a spectacular place to visit at any time of the year. The preserve is home to a high altitude pitch pine barrens, a stand of trees that is globally rare; the barrens is surrounded by a chestnut oak forest, which, along with the barrens, hosts a variety of flora and fauna. Some of the plant life is common, but some of the plant species are also rare.
The preserve is situated at the highest point of the Shawangunk Mountain range and has some very distinct geography. Exploring the area, you will find Lake Maratanza, which is one of five sky lakes within the mountain range, as well as ice cave crevices, cliffs, and scenic lookout points. Verkeerder Kill Falls is a waterfall that is almost 200 feet tall; it is located on private property but can be viewed from one of the hiking trails. Rent an RV near Sam's Point Preserve, and you can use the preserve's small parking lot to gain access to the park and its amenities.
The preserve's amazing geography makes this a perfect destination for photographers who enjoy shooting landscapes and wildlife, and for hikers. Dogs are welcome on a leash, and there are picnic tables you can use should you want to stop and take a rest while enjoying your lunch. The park is open year-round, and in the winter, you can come here to enjoy snowshoeing. There is a visitor center where you can rent snowshoes, buy gifts and souvenirs, and sign up for any of the public programs that are offered.
While you're camping with an RV near Sam's Point Preserve, you might want to spend some time seeing the rest of the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Both of these preserves served as inspiration for the Hudson River School painters who spent their summers here. Some of the other notable areas within Minnewaska are Awosting Reserve and Mohonk Preserve. Mohonk is a good destination if you want to combine hiking with mountain biking, and it is a popular location for climbers seeking an adrenaline rush. Vernooy Kill State Forest and Sundown Wild Forest are a short distance away and to the north.
Camp in an RV near the village of Ellenville, and you can take a breather while grabbing a meal, gas up your RV rental, and enjoy the culture and hospitality that the state of New York has to offer. Ellenville is located in the Rondout Valley, between the bases of the Catskill Mountains and Shawangunk Ridge; it is also the intersection of Sandburg Creek and Beer Kill (a second river), which join to become Rondout Creek. Rondout Creek flows north where it empties into the Hudson River.
Camping near Sam's Point Preserve
You'll want to begin your idyllic Cragsmoor camping vacation by setting up a base nearby, and there are quite a few places where you can enjoy RV camping near Sam's Point Preserve. Catskill Adventure Resort is a cultivated campground that includes RV campsites with full hookups, picnic tables, and fire rings. Some of the individual sites have pull-through access, and all of them are situated amongst a wooded area, offering shade and quiet. The resort offers its guests a variety of sports activities such as basketball and volleyball, a restaurant, separate lounges for adults and kids, a playground and a swimming pool, and more.
Skyway Camping Resort is a luxurious family-owned and operated campground with lots of green space, and some tree stands located throughout the park. Guests can enjoy the clubhouse and fitness workout room, a massive sundeck, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool, just to name a few of the amenities. There's a dog run for your pets, a scenic pond where you can fish, and a game room for the kids. The campground management hosts social activities on occasion, which everyone is invited to attend.
Exploring the Area
You'll want to spend some of your time here, soaking up the culture, and a good place to start is in New Paltz, a medium-size village with many landmarks and attractions. The village has several art galleries and a planetarium offering live presentations. There are several farms and orchards you can visit, a handful of vineyards, and a stone gateway (one of the village's landmarks) leading to a hiking path and second gateway at the other side. If by now you're starting to feel peckish, New Paltz has a well-developed restaurant scene, and most of the venues are reasonably priced to inexpensive.
Accord is a small hamlet with a family-owned farm that also serves as a market and restaurant. If you decide to stop in here, you can browse through the fresh produce and baked goods, or stay for lunch in the on-site restaurant. The menu includes breakfast and lunch items; the farm at large is open from early morning to early evening and has both indoor and outdoor dining areas. Another local farm has an on-site brewery where you can relax and enjoy sampling their beverages. If you have kids with you, you can tour the working farm with chickens and an open field where the kids can burn off some energy.