ICE CAVES (SAM'S POINT PRESERVE)
Cragsmoor, Ulster County, NY


Directions:

US 287 west over the Tappan Zee bridge; US 87 north to exit 16 to pick up the Quickway (Route 17, future US 86) heading west;  get off at exit 113 for Route 209 north; in the center of Ellenville turn right onto Route 52 heading east; follow the road for about 4.8 miles; the road takes drivers up and around to the south side of the mountain; turn left onto Cragsmoor Road; drive 1.4 miles to the center of the next community and turn right (there is a sign posted); within 0.1 of a mile turn right again, this time onto Sam's Point Road. Drive 1.3 miles to the park entrance.


Geology

Ice Caves Mountain is at the crest of the Shawangunks.  The mountain is at the southernmost tip of the broad, anticlinal section of the ridge where flat-lying, erosionally truncated beds of white Shawangunk conglomerate form a cliff over the Taconic unconformity.  The dark shales of the roadcuts on the way from Ellenville to the Ice Caves are Ordovician beds below the unconformity.  

The so-called Ice Caves part of the cliff is really a "rock city" like those that occur in the late Devonian, Mississippian, and Pennsylvanian conglomerates of southwestern New York.  The massively-bedded, widely-jointed rock at the edge of the cliff breaks up into huge blocks that tumble and lean against each other as they gradually work their way downslope over the shales. The term "city" comes from the resemblance of the rectangular blocks to buildings, and of the passageways to streets.  The coldness of "streets" and caves probably stems form the long-lasting winter ice trapped in them.  (Van Diver 1985:127)

The view from Sam's Point include the Wallkill Valley, the ridge to the southwest, the Port Jervis trough, and the Allegheny Plateau.   

Route 209 north between Wurtsboro and Ellenville (13 miles) follows a "through-valley" drainage divide and narrow constriction in the Port Jervis Trough. The divide is at Phillipsport. Streams on one side flow southwesterward, while on the other side of Phillipsport, northeast-flowing small creeks form the headwaters of Rondout Creek. (Van Diver 1985:127)


History:

The point is named for Samuel Gonzales, who, according to folklore, was chased to the edge of the cliff by a band of Indians during the French and Indian War.  Seeing no other escape, he jumped from the cliff into the hemlock boughs below and escaped unharmed.

1700s  -- people in the region would make day trips to pick blueberries.

1850  -- first good road from Cragsmoor to Sam's Point built.

1862  --  earliest record of commercial activity in "wild huckleberries" (really blueberries). Black huckleberry is Gaylussacia baccata and is black and very crunchy when eaten because of the many seeds; blueberries are in the genus Vaccinium: low bush blue berry (Vaccinium angustifolium), hillside blueberry (Vaccinium pallidum) and high bush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum). 

Huckleberry pickers build tarpaper shanties or pitched tents in the Shawangunks here.  They would return every summer to pick the berries. A good picker could pick between twenty to forty quarts a day.

Other industries were lumber; harvesting hemlock bark for tanning leather; the manufacture of wooden shingles and barrel hoops; charcoal making; the hewing of millstone; mining lead and zinc ores from the northwestern slopes.

1871  --  extension of the rail line north to Ellenville.

1901  --  Alfred H. Smiley wrote that what became known as the Smiley Road ran for seven miles from Awosting Lake to a railroad station at Ellenville and that much of the road was "strikingly grand and beautiful."  This road really opened the way for blueberry picking communities.  There were "huckleberry" pickers that lived along the road, locations designated in part my mileage posts. 

1919  -- the state was preparing to build a fire tower. 

1933 or 34  -- the road north from Lake Maratanza to the High Point fire tower finally put through all the way by 32 CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) workers.

1939  --  a fire set by the huckleberry pickers to encourage huckleberry growth gets out of hand.  John Addis, the forest range, and guys from the CCC camp, with the help of the huckleberry pickers, put out the fire.

1940  --  Fred Martyn of Walker Valley reports sighting a mountain lion immediately below Sam's Point. 

1949 and 1950  --  Hype Addis had a store (taken over from Ben Conklin) near Two-Mile Post. 

early 1950s  --  Al Smiley of Wallkill spots a mountain lion near Castle Point.

1953 or 1954  -- the only two occasions when Hype Addis's father got caught red-handed making moonshine liquor .

1955  -- flooding in the area brought on with Hurricane Diane. 

late 1950s  -- John Stedner, Jr. saw a mountain lion amongst the berrypickers' cabins. 

1963  -- Herman Heigle reports he saw a mountain lion in the mountains. 

1964  -- last big blaze on the mountain.

after 1964  -- the Conklins no longer earned most of their income from berry picking.

1966  --  after retiring from food-service work, Herman Heigle becomes a year-round resident of his Sam's Point cabin.  (He was the last surviving resident of Sam's Point, dying of a stroke in 1983 at the age of 76.)

1987  -- Herb Florer of Kerhonkson found mountain lion tracks near Awosting. 

1989  -- bicyclist Ron McCormick spots a mountain lion near the Millbrook escarpment.

1993  -- Donna Pollard of Monticello saw a pair of adult mountain lion around Lake Maratanza. 

1997  --  Jeff Stedner of Cragsmoor spotted a mountain lion on Route 52. 


Source: Marc B. Fried. 1995. The Huckleberry pickers: A raucous history of the Shawangunk Mountains. Self-published. 

Marc B. Fried 1998.  Shawangunk: Adventure, exploration, history and epiphany from a mountain wilderness.  Self-published. 


Trails:

The Nature Conservancy recently took over this property.  They took down all the commercial signs about the ice caves and so it is a bit harder to find the place.  

We were there a while ago and the ice caves themselves were closed.  That's a shame because this was the highlight for many a kid (and adult too). (Recently, I heard that they have reopened the ice caves.)

8/22/04.  Rosemary, Patrick, and Carl Cooney with Ceferino Santana came to make a tour of the ice caves.  The place is a little messed up because they are building a new visitor's center and it is still far from being done.  Hiked up the old road on which one used to be able to drive.  First stop was Sam's Point with its beautiful views of the valley below and the mountains in the background.  Usually the cars would go clockwise rather than this counter clockwise path we were following.  Next stop were the ice caves, as interesting as ever. Last big stop was Lake Maratanza.  It was larger than usual because of the extensive rains of the previous day.  Then we went downhill (past quite a few blueberry harvesters with their pails) back to the start.   (It's better that everyone has to walk the path rather than drive it.  It's much more hiker friendly this way.)


PLANT LIST:

Dr. Robert Zaremba, Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, Dr. William F. Standaert, others

dates = plants found in bloom on dates of field trips or visits


Trees:
Acer pensylvanicum (goose-foot maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/22/97
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush) 4/22/97 5/21/97
Amelanchier laevis (smooth shadbush)
Betula alleghaniensis (yellow birch)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula papyrifera (paper birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Castanea dentata (American chestnut)
Crataegus sp. (hawthorn) 6/06/97
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea glauca (white spruce)
Pinus rigida (pitch pine)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Populus alba (white poplar)
Populus grandidentata (big-toothed aspen)
Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry) 4/22/97 6/06/97
Prunus pensylvanica (fire cherry) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Prunus serotina (black cherry) 6/14/97
Pyrus malus (apple tree) 6/06/97
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Salix sp. (willow) 5/21/97
Sassafras albidum (sassafras) 5/21/97
Sorbus americana (mountain ash)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)

Shrubs:
Aronia arbutifolia (red chokeberry) 6/14/97
Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry) 6/06/97 6/14/97
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Comptonia peregrina (sweet fern)
Epigaea repens (trailing arbutus) 4/22/97
Euonymus sp. (euonymus) 9/28/96 pink fruit w/ scarlet aril
Forsythia sp. (forsythia) 4/22/97
Gaultheria hispidula (creeping snowberry) mentioned in the park literature
Gaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)
Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry) 6/06/97 6/14/97
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Ilex montana (mountain winterberry) 6/14/97
Kalmia angustifolia (sheep laurel) 6/14/97 7/07/95 9/28/96
Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) 7/07/95 waning
Lonicera canadensis (American fly honeysuckle) 4/22/97
Myrica pensylvancia (bayberry)
Nemopanthus mucronatus (mountain holly) 6/06/97
Quercus ilicifolia (scrub oak)
Rhamnus? (buckthorn?) elliptical; long pointed hairy leaves finely toothed soon to bloom
Rhododendron canadense (rhodora) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Rhododendron maximum (rosebay rhododendron)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter azalea) 6/06/97 6/14/97
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rosa carolina (pasture rose)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Salix discolor (pussy willow)
Sambucus racemosa (red-berried elderberry) 6/06/97 just past bloom
Spiraea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)
Spiraea tomentosa (steeplebush) 8/22/04
Syringa vulgaris (common lilac) 6/14/97
Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) 5/21/97 6/06/97 6/14/97 9/28/96
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) 6/14/97
Vaccinium macrocarpon (large cranberry)
Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)
Vaccinium stamineum (deerberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum) 6/14/97 soon
Viburnum lentago (nannyberry viburnum) 6/14/97 soon
Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides (witherod) 6/14/97 soon 9/28/96

Vines:
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Herbs:
Acalypha rhomboidea (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow) 8/22/04
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 4/22/97
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) 8/22/04
Amphicarpaea bracteata (hog peanut)
Anaphalis margaritacea (pearly everlasting) 7/07/95
Antennaria plantaginifolia (plantain-leaved pussytoes) 5/21/97
Antennaria neglecta var. neodioica (pussy toes) 6/06/97
Arabis glabra (tower mustard) 6/14/97
Aralia hispida (bristly sarsaparilla) 7/07/95
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Arenaria groenlandica var. glabra (mountain sandwort) 6/14/97 9/28/96
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster acuminatus (whorled aster) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Aster lateriflorus (calico aster) 9/28/96
Aster pilosus (heath aster)
Aster sp. (cordifolius?)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/21/97 6/06/97 6/14/97
Bartonia virginica (yellow bartonia) should be in here
Bidens frondosa (beggarticks) 9/28/96
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 6/06/97 6/14/97
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Cichorium intybus (chicory) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) 8/22/04
Cirsium vulgaris (bull thistle) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Convallaria majalis (lily-of-the-valley)
Conyza canadensis (horseweed) 8/22/04
Coptis trifolia (goldthread) mentioned in the park literature
Cornus canadensis (bunchberry) 6/14/97
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink) 7/07/95 8/22/04
Drosera intermedia (spatulate-leaved sundew)
Epilobium coloratum (purple-leaved willowherb) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchid)
Erechtites hieraciifolia (pilewort) 8/22/04
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 8/22/04
Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus (Robin's plantain) 6/14/97
Eupatorium rugosum (white snake root) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Euphorbia cyparissias (cypress spurge)
Euphorbia vermiculata (hairy spurge) formerly Chamaesyce v.  8/22/04
Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Fragaria virginiana (common strawberry) 5/21/97 6/14/97
Galium aparine (cleavers) 6/06/97
Galium mollugo (wild madder) 9/28/96
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 6/14/97
Geranium sibiricum (Siberian geranium) 8/22/04
Glechoma hederacea (gill over the ground) 5/21/97 6/06/97 6/14/97
Gnaphalium uliginosum (low cudweed) 8/22/04
Hieracium aurantiacum (orange hawkweed) 6/14/97
Hieracium caespitosum (king devil hawkweed) 6/06/97 6/14/97
Hieracium paniculatum (panicled hawkweed) 8/22/04
Hieracium pilosella (mouse-ear hawkweed) 6/14/97
Hieracium piloselloides (glaucous hawkweed) 6/14/97
Hieracium spp. (hawkweed) 7/7/95 9/28/96
Hypericum boreale (northern St. Johnswort)
Hypericum canadense (Canada St. Johnswort)
Hypericum gentianoides (orangegrass)
Hypericum mutilum (dwarf St. Johnswort)
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort) 8/22/04
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Iris versicolor (blue flag) 6/14/97 soon
Lactuca canadensis (wild lettuce) 8/22/04
Leontodon autumnalis (fall dandelion) 9/28/96
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Linaria vulgaris (butter-and-eggs) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Lindernia dubia (false pimpernel)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Lotus corniculatus (birdfoot trefoil) 7/07/95 8/22/04
Lycopus uniflorus (northern bugleweed) 9/28/96
Lycopus virginicus (water horehound)
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower) 6/06/97 6/14/97
Matricaria matricarioides (pineapple weed) 6/14/97 8/22/04 9/28/96
Medicago lupulina (black medick) 6/06/97 6/14/97 9/28/96
Melampyrum lineare (cow wheat)
Melilotus alba (white sweet clover) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover) 7/7/95 8/22/04
Monarda punctata (horsemint) 8/22/04
Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe)
Myosotis scorpioides (larger forget-me-not) 9/28/96
Narcissus sp. (daffodil) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel) 6/06/97 6/14/97 8/22/04 9/28/96
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum arenastrum (dooryard knotweed) 9/28/96
Polygonum cespitosum (tufted knotweed) 9/28/96
Polygonum sagittatum (arrow-leaved tearthumb) 8/22/04
Polygonum virginianum (jumpseed smartweed)
Potentilla argentea (silvery cinquefoil) 8/22/04
Potentilla canadensis (dwarf cinquefoil) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Potentilla norvegica (rough cinquefoil) 6/14/97
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 6/14/97
Potentilla tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil)
Prenanthes alba (white lettuce)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup) 6/06/97
Ranunculus acris (tall buttercup) 6/06/97 6/14/97 7/07/95 8/22/04
Ranunculus bulbosus (bulbous buttercup) 6/06/97
Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup) 6/14/97
Rhynchospora alba (beaked rush)
Rumex acetosella (sheep sorrel) 6/14/97
Senecio aureus (golden ragwort) 6/06/97 6/14/97
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel) 6/14/97
Senecio sp. (ragwort) 9/28/96
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion) 6/14/97 8/22/04
Sisyrinchium montanum var. crebrum (blue-eyed grass) 6/14/97
Solidago bicolor (silverrod) 9/28/96
Solidago puberula (downy goldenrod) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Solidago rugosa (rough-stemmed goldenrod) 8/22/04 9/28/96
Stellaria media (common chickweed)
Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/21/97 6/06/97 6/14/97 8/22/04
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow rue)
Tragopogon pratensis (goat's beard) 6/14/97
Trientalis borealis (starflower) 6/06/97 6/14/97 8/22/04
Trifolium aureum (yellow clover) 6/14/97  8/22/04
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover) 9/28/96
Trifolium pratense (red clover) 6/14/97 8/22/04
Trifolium repens (white clover) 6/14/97 8/22/04 9/28/96
Tussilago farfara (colt's foot) 5/21/97
Utricularia sp. (bladderwort)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein) 7/07/95 8/22/04 9/28/96
Veronica officinalis (common speedwell) 6/14/97
Veronica serpyllifolia (thyme-leaved speedwell) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Viola cucullata (marsh blue violet) 6/14/97
Viola lanceolata (lance-leaved violet)
Viola sagittata (arrow-leaved violet) used to be V. fimbriatula
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Viola sororia v (confederate violet) 5/21/97
Viola sp. a white violet 5/21/97 6/06/97
Xyris montana (yellow-eyed grass)

Rushes:
Juncus acuminatus (rush)
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)
Juncus trifidus (rush)
Luzula multiflora (wood rush) 5/21/97

Sedges:
Carex crinita (fringed sedge)
Carex cumulata (sedge)
Carex echinata (sedge)
Carex lurida (sallow sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge) 5/21/97 6/06/97
Carex stipata (sedge)
Carex vulpinoidea (fox sedge)
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)
Eleocharis ovata (ovate spikerush)
Eleocharis tenuis (spikerush)
Eriophorum virginianum (cotton grass)
Scirpus atrovirens (dark green bulrush)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)
Scirpus sp. infl coming out from near top

Grasses:
Agrostis hyemalis (tickle grass)
Agrostis scabra?
Anthoxanthum odoratum (sweet vernal grass) 6/14/97
Aristida sp. (three-awn grass)
Bromus inermis (smooth brome grass)
Bromus tectorum (downy brome grass) 6/14/97
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass) 6/14/97
Danthonia compressa (poverty grass)
Danthonia spicata (poverty grass)
Elymus sp. (wild rye grass)
Elytrigia repens (quack grass)
Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue)
Festuca rubra (red fescue grass)
Glyceria acutiflora (mannagrass)
Leersia oryzoides (rice cutgrass)
Muhlenbergia sp. (muhly grass)
Panicum acuminatum (panic grass)
Panicum capillare (fall panic grass)
Panicum clandestinum (deer-tongue grass)
Panicum sp. (panic grass)
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)
Phleum pratense (Timothy grass)
Phragmites australis (giant reed grass)
Poa annua (low spear grass) 6/14/97
Poa compressa (Canada bluegrass) 6/14/97
Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass) 6/14/97
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem grass)
Setaria glauca (yellow foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)
 

Ferns and Fern allies:
Lycopodium clavatum (staghorn clubmoss)
Lycopodium inundatum (bog clubmoss)
Lycopodium obscurum (tree clubmoss)
Lycopodium porophilum (rock clubmoss)
Asplenium montanum (mountain spleenwort)
Asplenium platyneuron? (ebony spleenwort?)
Athyrium filix-femina (red-stiped lady fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris campyloptera (mountain wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Polypodium virginianum (common rock cap fern)
Pteridium aquilinum (bracken fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)

Others:
Cladonia cristatella (British soldiers) 5/21/97
Cladonia sp. (reindeer lichen)
Clidonia sp. (lichen)
Polytrichum sp. (hair cap moss)
rock tripe lichen


SAM'S POINT
Ulster County, NY

1883

Sam's Point is a rocky promontory of the Shawangunk Mountains, about five miles east of Ellenville, NY, overlooking the Wallkill Valley between the Shawangunk and Highland ranges, at a height as marked on a ledge at its summit of 2,340 feet above the sea. This promontory is composed of a very close conglomerate rock made up of white quartz pebbles, nearly horizontally bedded, the tope being a flat table-land. Geologically, this rock is known as Shawangunk Grit, the equivalent of the Oneida Conglomerate of Upper Silurain strata. Thinly bedded, Lower Silurian shales of the Hudson River Group, underlies this conglomerate rock, forming the base of the hill on which it rests.

The wood surrounding this tableland are made up of the pitch pine, with some few common deciduous trees, and an occasional white pine and hemlock. The undergrowth of these woods consists of

Quercus ilicifolia
Nemopanthus canadensis
Sambucus pubens
Rhodora canadensis
Viburnum pubescens
Viburnum nudum
Cornus circinata
Cornus sericea
Acer spicatum
Acer pensylvanicum
Aralia hispida
Viburnum lantanoides
Gaylussacia resinosa
Vaccinium pennsylvanicum

My visit was made in the latter part of August when little else than Compositae was in bloom. Besides the commoner plants of this order, Solidago squarrosa, and S. Latifolia, were plenty. A few specimens of Gentiana quinqueflora were found towards the base of the hill. Spiranthes gracilis grows abundantly among the bushes, both on the table and at its base, often with but a single tuber, instead of "roots clustered" as in its specific description. Two specimens of Botrychium lanceolatus were found in woods near the Point.

The flora of the top of this elevated ridge is characterized by an abundant growth of Pinus rigida, very much stunted in growth, fruiting indeed at two feet from the ground and forming low, straggling bushes, few of them more than five feet high, the leaves also shortened to half the length of those borne by ordinary trees of this species. Arenaria groenlandica grows on all the expose rocky ledges, and Clintonia borealis, in a sphagnous swamp and also in the woods at the base of the hill. The shrubs mentioned above are also found on the summit.

A broad, shallow pond, a mile or so northeast of the Point, on the table land, well repaid exploration. Here the small form of the white water lily (Nymphaea odorata) grows plentifully.

Eriocaulon septangulare
Lobelia dortmanna
Isoetes echinospora var Braunii
were found in shallow water near the shore.
Drosera rotundifolia
Drosera intermedia
were found in fine condition in the Sphagnum along the margin.

N. L. Britton Sep 1883 TBC Bulletin vol X #9 September 1883


The note by Mr. Britton in the last number of this journal, describing the botanical characteristics of the flora of Sam's Point, omits mentions of some peculiarities which I noticed during a visit to this lovely spot in a most beautiful country about the middle of September of the present year. I there saw for the first time, the American Mountain Ash (Pyrus arbutifolia), and was impressed by its splendid appearance. The European species (P. acuparia) is cultivated in Washington and vicinity, and I have often admired the beautiful orange-colored berries; but our native species far surpasses it. In fact, I have never seen anything outside the tropics, which, in my opinion, would compare with the large masses of deep scarlet berries displayed by P. arbutifolia. The species was not abundant, but was noticed in several places, growing usually in clefts of rocks, and forming a tall shrub from 5-10 feet in height. It was observed in cultivation in two places along the road leading to the Point, in one instance forming a tree some 20 feet high.

Another peculiarity of the vegetation of the Point which Mr. Britton omits to mention is the remarkable form assumed by the few hemlock trees that grow there. One was noticed which had an elevation of not more than six feet, but which expanded a rod or more (I write from memory no measurements having been taken), the dense flat top supported on a comparatively massive straight trunk a foot or more in diameter and several feet in height. I was told of a tree (said to be a pine), of similar shape, growing at the mouth of the ice cave which expanded more than 30 feet, although no taller than the one just described. Robert Ridgway Oct-Nov, 1883, pp. 121-122


ICE CAVES
September 21-22, 1935

Mud Pond, a shallow body of water about a third of a mile long, near the southeastern brink, occupying another dropped block depression, looks well worth hours of study, for its rich aquatic vegetation, but time did not permit intensive search, which will be left as an objective for 1936. Two comfortable rock shelters were found, which are used by blueberry pickers in July and August and were so alluring that it was proposed to use one of them as headquarters for more intensive study of this fascinating region another summer.

Arenaria groenlandica var. glabra (Minuartia glabra of Dr House's list) was occasional and still in bloom. Potentilla tridentata occurs at Sam's Point, but was not found elsewhere on this part of Shawangunk mountain, although it occurs near Lake Minnewaska and Lake Mohonk. The lichen Cetraria islandica occurs at Sam's Point and High Point, and may be elsewhere on this high plateau.

Raymond Torrey


August 29, 1938 p. 9

Mr. Fred R. Lewis, leader of the trip to the Ice Caves on the Shawangunk Mountain, near Ellenville, NY, reports on it as follows:

One of the objectives of this trip was fossil footprints (which Mr. Lewis had reported finding many years ago). We failed to locate them, but found fossil worms in North Gully. . . .

We found a rare species of the Hydnum fungus, new to me, and so far unidentified.

The mountain flora included as a prominent element Solidago graminifolia, Mountain Tea, the natives call it. There were two species of holly, Ilex opaca and Ilex vomitoria. Among the many lichens noted at the Ice Caves was an abundance of Evernia furfuracea, not a common species, and a few specimens of Mycoblastus sanguinarius, also rather infrequent.

Raymond H. Torrey


ICE CAVES, CRAGSMOOR, NEW YORK, June 14, 1997.

On a warm day Torrey Botanical Society members toured the Ice Caves, which the Nature Conservancy recently took over from commercial hands. As of now the former gift shop is closed. The Torrey group walked the old circular route that was once open to cars.

This is an interesting area because it is in a colder temperature zone than the usual places Torrey visits. A special treat are the small cranberry bogs found along the old dirt service roads. The group just missed the blooms of rhodora (Rhodora canadense) found in the cranberry bog areas and wet ditches. Other plants that Torreyites do not commonly see include
(Acer pensylvanica), mountain sandwort (Arenaria groenlandica var. glabra) in bloom, mountain spleenwort (Asplenium montanum), white birch (Betula papyrifera), bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) in bloom, mountain winterberry (Ilex montana) in bloom, mountain holly (Nemopanthus mucronatus), red-berried elder (Sambucus racemosa), blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium montanum), and mountain ash (Sorbus americana).

Other species in bloom were Arabis glabra, Aronia arbutifolia and A. melanocarpa, Barbarea vulgaris, Erigeron pulchellus var. pulchellus, Fragaria virginiana, Gaylussacia bacatta, Geranium maculatum, Glechoma hederacea, Hieracium aurantiacum, H. caespitosum, H. pilosella, and H. piloselloides, Kalmia angustifolia, Maianthemum canadense, Matricaria matricarioides, Medicago lupulina, Oxalis stricta, Potentilla norvegica and P. simplex, Prunus serotina, Ranunculus acris, Rhododendron periclymenoides, Senecio aureus, Silene cucubalus, Tragopogon pratensis, Trientalis borealis, Trifolium aureum, T. pratense and T. repens, Vaccinium angustifolium and V. corymbosum, Veronica officinalis, Viburnum acerifolium and V. lentago, and Viola cucullata.

Total attendance was ten. The leader was Dr. Patrick L. Cooney. Thanks to Dr. William Standaert for providing many identifications as well as the plant list for the trip.