We’ve visited Minnewaska State Park countless times but never had a chance to go to Sam’s Point Ice Caves. For Nihads birthday, he wanted to explore a new trail and chose this one. After walking up the broad pathway, we took the restored Lenape Stairs to the viewpoint. The views from here are incredible, even with the fog.
After enjoying the view and taking many photos, we continued on the trail. The carriage road takes you to the Ice Caves and Long Path intersection. This time instead of going left following the LP trailblazer, we continued straight towards the caves. Just as we made a turn we saw a deer and her tiny doe quickly walk across the road and disappear into the woods. It was a good sign.
Dark, Cold and Beautiful Ice Caves
I still can’t believe this was our first time visiting Sam’s Point Ice Caves. The trail was wide and open, and greenery was all around. The closer you came to the cave entrance, the better the views. Even though the trail was busy with people entering and leaving the caves, we still got to enjoy it.
You go down a few stone stairs to start the ice cave journey. The path continues to your right and into the cave. Before you are even more stone stairs and on either side giant rock walls. You realize that you’re inside the rock formation as you go further in. Standing inside the rock and walking through the narrow crevices felt incredible.
After you walk out of the rock, you’re encompassed by a forest. There is greenery and rocks everywhere. We followed the while trail blaze and stopped every few steps from taking it all in. To your right is the forest and vegetation and to your left are large rock formations of various colors. The short walk led to another crevice entrance with actual ice! I couldn’t believe that we were in June and there was still frozen snow on the ground. Were my hands frozen from the cold? You bet they were!
The Ice Caves at Sam’s Point are incredible and should not be missed. I can’t believe that it took us this long to go and visit the caves but it won’t be our last time. The experience in the caves was dark, cold and beautiful. If you’re afraid of the dark or don’t like small spaces, bring your own light and a supporting buddy.
Emerging Out of the Caves
At the end of the cave exploring adventure there was a small piece of ice. I pointed to it and then walked up the stone stairs, back into the daylight. After walking up the stairs and wooden ladder, you emerge to a view. To your left you can step on the rocks and enjoy the view which to the right is the path back to the trail. As we stayed on the rock enjoying the views we could hear other hikers inside the caves. We took some photos and continued walking on the trail.
This time the trail was narrow with blueberry bushes and greenery on either side. After a short walk in, we were back where we started. We followed the path back to Sam’s Point view. This time we walked around the rock and did not take the Lenape Steps. Overall, the short 3.79 mile hike from the parking lot was well worth it and took us an hour and twenty minutes.