This spring, New York State Parks, along with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, will introduce a pilot reservation system for parking at the Sam’s Point area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Reservations will be required on weekends and holidays from the first weekend in May through the last weekend in October. All weekend and holiday visitors will be required to make reservations online.
The pilot reservation system aims to protect the site’s fragile ecosystem from the impact of increasing visitation, while reducing impacts on the surrounding community.
“The pilot parking reservation program at the Sam’s Point Area will balance responsible stewardship with our commitment towards providing all New Yorkers safe recreational access,” said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. “The Sam’s Point area offers extraordinary opportunities for outdoor recreation and implementing this parking system will help ensure continued access to the site while better protecting the natural resources of the park.”
Annual visitation to Sam’s Point has steadily increased in recent years, with a nearly 48% increase in visitors since 2015. This increase has led to traffic congestion, illegal parking on local roads and negative impacts on the park’s natural resources and the surrounding areas with documented trail erosion, littering, and trampling of vegetation. Through the implementation of this pilot program, State Parks aims to mitigate these environmental concerns and reduce the disappointment of motorists previously turned away once the park reached capacity.
“With more than three-million visitors per year to Ulster County enjoying our many scenic vistas and outdoor recreation, we know how important it is to maintain access to our popular destinations while being responsible stewards of the land,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said.
Reservations will be available online and by telephone through Reserve America. The vehicle entrance fee is $10.95; there will be no reservation fee for Empire Pass holders. Reservations will open in April.
For additional information, call 518-474-0456 or visit parks.ny.gov.