The loop to Sam's Point offers hikers a daylong sojourn into the Catskill Mountains, showcasing the forest of the Allegheny Highlands in the Hudson River Valley and the highest point on Shawangunk Ridge. At 9.8 miles in length and gaining less than 1,000 feet in total elevation, it's a great hike for intermediate hikers with beautiful views over Minnewaska State Park to the Catskills from several slick rock viewpoints along the way. These viewpoints are also places of interest to the amateur geologist, who will recognize the rock as remnants of the last Ice Age, when receding glaciers deposited "glacial erratic" that is distinctive from the surrounding rock. Just a couple hours north of New York City, it's a fantastic opportunity to experience the backcountry.
Begin at Sam's Point Visitor Center. Day-use parking costs $10 per vehicle per day. This can be paid at the visitor center or a self-pay kiosk if the center is closed. From the parking lot, walk through the gate on the gravel carriage road. Turn right on Loop Road and follow this carriage road for 1 mile. After 1 mile, find another carriage road to the right; turn here, and in a short distance there will be a sign and the trailhead for the Verkeerder Kill Falls Trail. Turn left and follow along open terrain with great views to the east.
Hike along the Verkeerder Kill Falls Trail for 1.75 miles to the top of the falls. Cross the stream and continue for another 0.25 mile to the trail junction with the High Point Trail and the Scenic Trail. Turn left on the High Point Tail. The High Point Trail is 2.5 miles long and ends on the High Point Carriage Road. There are excellent views of the Catskills to the north along this trail. Turn left on the High Point Carriage Road and follow for 2 miles until the carriage road ends at the Loop Road. Turn right and follow the trail back to the visitor center.