Find the Outdoors
No matter the season, Ellenville is an outdoor destination awaiting your discovery. It’s a launching pad for active adventures, as well as quiet activities. Head upwards, toward the clouds, on a hang glider. Or stay grounded, hitting one of several local—and easily accessible—trail systems.
What are we famous for? The “ice caves” at Sam’s Point Preserve, and Sam's Point, a five-state scenic overlook with a legendary past. The waterfalls of Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Ellenville’s also known as the Hang Gliding Capital of the Northeast, with three major hang gliding schools, and amazing launch sites on the Shawangunk Ridge. Runners come to town for major races, such as the “Rock The Ridge” 50-mile endurance challenge.
When you visit Ellenville, you’ll find yourself convening with protected, preserved nature, hiking the peaceful Shawangunk Mountains, fishing, kayaking, biking, cross-country skiing, and more.
Sam's Point Preserve, or Sam's Point Dwarf Pine Ridge Preserve, is a 4600acre preserve in Ulster County on the highest point (2289ft) of the Shawangunk Ridge in New York, on the Wawarsing, New York-Shawangunk town line. It is owned by the Open Space Institute and managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation after having previously been managed by The Nature Conservancy. Its unique environment features dwarf pitch pine trees along the ridgetop. Located within the park is Lake Maratanza, the highest lake on the ridge, and the Ellenville Fault Ice Caves.
The name derives from a story that a man named Sam, pursued by Indians, jumped off the cliff to avoid capture and miraculously survived the drop with the trees breaking his fall. Roads throughout the preserve were built as fire roads in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The land was once owned by the nearby village of Ellenville to protect its watershed and partly by a company which offered tours of the ice caves. The Open Space Institute, working with The Nature Conservancy bought it with assistance from the Lila Acheson and Dewitt Wallace Fund for the Hudson Highlands, after the village considered selling the land to developers.