New York State Parks, along with the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, have introduced a pilot reservation system for parking at the Sam’s Point area of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Reservations can be made two weeks in advance beginning April 17 online at https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com or through the call center at 1-800-456-2267. One reservation is allowed for any two-week period. Reservations are required weekends and holidays from Sunday, May 1 through the last weekend in October.
All weekend and holiday visitors will be required to make reservations. The vehicle entrance fee is $10.95; there will be no reservation fee for Empire Pass holders. Stopping and standing on the roadway is prohibited and no drop-offs or pickups will be allowed in the Sam’s Point area.
The pilot reservation system aims to protect the site’s fragile ecosystem from the impact of increasing visitation and to provide an improved visitor experience for enjoyment of the unique features and natural beauty of the Sam’s Point area, while reducing impacts on the surrounding community.
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 severe 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.
Minnewaska State Park Preserve’s main parking areas located at 5281 Route 44/55 Kerhonkson, will remain as first come first serve access with no reservation requirement.