13. Ferguson Road to Sam’s Point Preserve

Section 13: Ferguson Road to Sam's Point

Quick Facts

Distance: 10.9 miles
Parks: Roosa Gap State Forest, Shawangunk Ridge State Forest, Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Maps: Interactive Map, SRT Map 3, Shawangunk Trails (maps 104 and 106B)
Print-Friendly Version: Link

General Description

The Long Path is co-aligned with the Shawangunk Ridge Trail north for the next eleven miles. This section is primarily ridgetop with many spectacular views in all directions. These are among the most dramatic in southern New York. The forest is primarily scrub oak, blueberry and occasional pitch pine. The low forest frequently places the hiker above the trees with unlimited visibility. There are also sections of Shawangunk slab, though not as common as found further north. The trail traverses the ridge to old Route 52, now a woods road, and follows this for a couple of miles until it reaches NY Route 52 and South Gully. The trail then enters Minnewaska State Park, and ascends through South Gully to Sam's Point Preserve.


Take the New York State Thruway to Exit 16, Harriman. Take NY Route 17/future Interstate 86 west 29 miles to Exit 114, Highview. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto Old Route 17 (Sullivan County 171) and go uphill for 0.4 miles. Turn left on Shawanga Lodge Road and follow it for about 4 miles. Turn left onto Ferguson Road. The trail crosses the road about 0.7 miles west of Shawanga Lodge Road.


0.00  Ferguson Road (still called Roosa Gap Summitville Road on some maps), 0.7 miles west of Shawanga Lodge Road). There is limited roadside parking near the trail crossing. (41.61105°, -74.43498°)
0.00  DEC parking lot at the corner of Ferguson and Shawanga Lodge Road (41.60627°, -74.42649°). A trail marked with yellow DEC markers leads in 0.7 miles to the Long Path, just south of Ferguson Road. 
0.75  DEC parking lot near the fire tower. It is about 0.1 mile from the parking area to the fire tower. (41.61689°, -74.42567°)
3.50 and 4.70  DEC parking lot on Cox Road (41.64629°, -74.40142°). A red trail leaves the parking lot and connects in 0.85 mi with the Long Path at mile 3.50 when keeping left (west). When keeping right (north), the trail reaches the Long Path in about 1.2 mi at mile 4.70.
5.30  DEC parking lot on NY Route 52. (41.66694°, -74.40406°). From here it is about 0.5 mi to the Long Path, following the red-blazed woods road.
7.80  Route 52, where the Long Path crosses. Several cars can be parked at the woods road (old Route 52) and along Route 52. (41.69251°, -74.39387°)
10.90  Sam's Point Preserve visitor center (fee charged). (41.67012°, -74.36138°)


Camping on DEC land, which is from mile 0.00 to approximately mile 6.5.

Trail Description

0.00  This section starts at Ferguson Road. Just to the left (west) of the trail, there is room to park several cars. The trail crosses the road about 0.7 miles west of the height of land and parking lot at the corner of Shawanga Lodge Road and Ferguson Road. North of Ferguson Road, the blazes change back to the blue DEC disks. The trail ascends steeply back up to the ridgetop. As you climb, views open up to the south. The ridge north of Ferguson Road is higher and is thus more populated with scrub oak.

0.50  The trail levels out and reaches a spectacular view to the south. This vantage point is higher than any point since the New Jersey border, yielding a view all the way down the ridge to the High Point Monument in New Jersey. There are also views north to the Catskills. From here the trail continues north, remaining about 100 vertical feet below the ridgetop for about one-tenth of a mile, before turning right.

0.60  The trail turns right and reaches the ridge near a fire tower, which is open to the public.

0.75  The Long Path turns left on a road around the fire tower, and soon turns left again to follow the ridge north. The road continues to the right and downhill to the parking area at the end of Fire Tower Road, near the tall emergency tower of Sullivan County.

1.70  A woods road appears on the right. The trail continues north, comes to a boulder and descends east into a col between two ridges of the mountain.

2.15  After a short climb, the trail reaches the top of the lower eastern ridge and turns back north to descend to another col. There is another view from the eastern ridge northwards. The trail continues to descend from the scrub oak and enters the forest.

2.55  The trail descends through an interesting escarpment, and then turns right  to parallel it uphill to a height of land. At the height of land, the trail turns left and continues to a woods road. This road connects Cox Road on the east side of the ridge with US Route 209 on the west side of the ridge.

2.90  The trail crosses the woods road and goes through hardwood forest criss-crossed by stone walls, slowly heading uphill in a generally northerly direction. During the next 0.3 miles the trail crosses six stone walls.

3.50  The trail makes a sharp left turn and climbs up the ridge. A trail blazed with red DEC markers goes off to the right and reaches a DEC parking area on Cox Road in 0.85 miles. The Long Path goes through scrub oak with an occasional pine tree. Some of its markings are painted on the rocks. Once on the ridge, the first good views appear with the Shawangunk Ridge and Basha Kill south and the Catskill Mountains northwest. During the next mile the trail winds itself over the ridge, sometimes affording views to the west and northwest, other times northeast to southeast. On the east side of the ridge are steep ledges of 20-40 ft in height and beautiful loose-standing rock formations.


wurtsboro-ridge 2007-2009

Rhodora (wild azelea). 2007 [ELIZABETH AIVARS]
Wurtsboro Ridge looking north toward the Catskills. 2009 [JAKOB FRANKE]  


4.20  An old woods road becomes visible on the bottom of the ledges.

4.60  There are some fine last views of the Catskills, Ellenville, and Bear Hill.

4.70  Another red-blazed trail goes off to the right and reaches Cox Road in 1.2 miles. The Long Path starts heading down through a nice stand of laurel. The trail is quite steep at places.

5.30  Reach an old road blazed with red DEC markers. This road is the former connector between Route 52 in Cragsmoor and NY Route 209 in Spring Glen. The Long path turns left and follows the woods road. Although the first half of the woods road is on DEC land, the Long Path blazes are now LP aqua. (A trail blazed with yellow DEC disks goes right, then left, and in 0.7 mi reaches a DEC parking area on NY Route 52 after crossing a stream with a nice cascading fall, a short climb, and passing a couple of good viewpoints. When following the red-blazed woods road to the right, the same DEC parking area is reached in about half a mile.)

5.60  A red-blazed road leaves to the left and reaches in about a mile another DEC parking area on Old Mountain Road in Spring Glen, off Route 209. The Long Path continues straight ahead.

5.80  The road crosses a stone culvert across a stream in a ravine.

7.80  The woods road reaches NY Route 52. Cross Route 52, and turn left along the shoulder of the highway.

7.85  The Long Path now enters Minnewaska State Park. Turn right into South Gully, at the end of the guide rail, across from two houses. The trail follows an old woods road at the edge of a ravine, and steadily climbs. It comes close to a  nice stream with numerous small falls and crosses three side streams before it reaches Gully Road.

9.65  The Long Path turns left on Gully Road, crosses a stream, and immediately turns right  into the woods. The trail ascends, makes a switchback near a stream, and steadily keeps climbing.

10.55  Pass a berrypicker cabin.

10.65  The trail reaches the Sam's Point Preserve loop road and continues to the right.

10.90  Reach a split in the loop road. The Sam's Point Preserve parking lot and visitor center are to the right. A parking fee must be paid. The Long Path continues to the left.



South Gully. 2007 [JAKOB FRANKE]

Previous Section: Section 12
Next Section: Section 14

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

Gedalyamil's picture

Today's hike was perhaps the most strenuous segment on the LP to date, but it was also one of the most scenic. My family had just celebrated the Passover Festival together in nearby Callicoon, which made the drive to the start much quicker. Additionally, I was joined by my amazing 2 nephews Aaron and Ben-Zion. Their sister Tami was unfortunately not up to the challenge of this particular hike. We left in 2 cars. I parked my jalopy in the makeshift "parking area" at Ferguson Road and they left their shiny Tesla at the spiffy Sam's Point parking area. Sam's Point gets the prize for the best parking lot on the LP. The toilets were first rate! They did charge $10 to park for the day. I wasn't sure if it was under a tow-away threat or a honor system, but the sophisticated and user friendly toll machine made paying the $10 worthwhile. Also, I wasn't going to put my nephew's Telsa at risk. My father had bought this for their sister (not Tami) in 2015. They were on a waiting list for 3 years before they got the car. My son got one too, but he traded it in for cash. I don't regret that decision, but he should have used the money to buy Tesla stock. Back to the hike, I am again grateful to NY/NJ Trail Conference folks for marking the "North" and "South" side of the LP on Ferguson Road because I was directionally confused and we nearly started back towards Basha Kill (great area!). The climb up to the fire tower was steep, but fun and a we were off to a great start. The views were impressive from the get-go and plentiful and the boys were immediately glad they joined the LP. The hike can be broken down into 3 sections: (i) a Gunks ridge-walk with the expectant inspiring views, (ii) a quiet woods road walk made pleasant by overflowing early Spring waterfalls, (iii) and a beautiful hike thru the South Gully ravine between 2 mountains in Minnewaska State Park. I had been to Minnewaska many times since I was a teen as this had been a favorite of my father. All in all it was a great day. I had trouble keeping up with my nephews and I didn't get to eat much on this hike because Huey and Dewey were way out in front most of the time and by the time I caught up they were ready to march on. However, I taught them a lesson or two about trail finding. As a reward, I got to drive the Tesla back to Ferguson road at the end of the day!!
haroldson5's picture

I know camping is allowed on DEC land, and normally I would wing it and find out on my own, but we want to do a quick overnight on this section utilizing the Cox Rd parking area. We will be hiking with a dog who is really only capable of about a 4 mile day these days so would like to stay in the vicinity of that loop where the red trail joins the LP/SRT. Are there any suitable spots around there?
srtmaintainer's picture

Take the south leg of the red trail to the Junction of the LP/SRT. There is suitable terrain for camping in that area.