Sam's Point is a perfect day hiking spot, located 2 hours outside New York City by car. A conservation center was established in 2005 at the trail head providing parking at 10 dollars a car. During the summer parking is very difficult I'd suggest arriving early.
Sam's Point has two major features, the cliffs over looking a gorgeous valley and two caves. Coming from the parking lot you wind your way up to the top of the cliffs. At the top there is a walled lookout spot or you can do what we did and walk past the lookout and through some trees right out onto the cliffs. We brought along lunch and hung out on the cliffs taking in the view. The 180 degree scene is spectacular and during the fall you can see the entire valley shifting from yellows to reds.
Past the cliffs the trail goes down the mountain and through two caves. During the winter water turns to ice inside the caves and sometimes the temp stays so low the ice remains year round. Between ice caves you'll see smaller caves just off the trail. Climbing down into these is awesome and you feel like your exploring, its always fun to go off the trail and poke around.
Hiking at Sam's Point is very low key, more of a slightly strenuous walk then a full on hike. The trail starts off as gravel and later becomes rocks and wood ladders as you enter the ice caves. We all wore boots, but sturdy sneakers would fair fine here too.
What's really great about Sam's Point is despite it being very low key afterwards you feel like you were out exploring. The steep walls of the massive caves you walk through and smaller side caves climb into make you feel like your on an adventure. Its a perfect mix between adventuring and relaxing.
What to bring
Water, layers if its the fall, snacks, and lunch. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash. Going in the fall there weren't many people around and our dog ran off leash most of the time.