Welcome to the BREIA BLOG

We would love to hear your hiking or skiing experience on the BREIA Trails. Click here to register.  Please follow up your registration with an email to telling us a little bit about yourself so that we know you are a “real” person.  Simply “I like to ski” is sufficient.

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We look forward to your contribution to our Blog!

Rental of Snowshoes

January 2nd, 2014

Hi Just wondering if you rent snowshoes like you do skis. My husband and I would like to snowshoe but need to rent them please let me know. Debbie Pilawa

Cherry Tree Trail Concerns

December 31st, 2013

On 12/30/2013 7:10 AM, STEPHEN K*******   wrote:

This trail has not been maintained. There are trees across it and weeds and and small trees are taking over. We lost the trail and had to bushwack back to the main trail. Please maintain the trail, mark it as unmaintained or take the sign down. It's okay if it isn't groomed but it should be a discernible trail

BREIA Response:
We apologize for any confusion on that trail. According to our maintenance director, “Earlier this fall the Cherry Tree Trail was cleared. Since then it is possible with all the wind we have had more trees have fallen.  There has not been enough snow yet this season to open the Cherry Tree. If and when we get more we will clear and groom the trail.”.

I’m told today that a crew is working on improving conditions on that trail, clearing and with better markings.

June 1st Hike

July 11th, 2013
What is a hiker to do?  You love hiking the north country trails but this is mud and black fly season. How about hiking where you had so much fun skiing this past winter? Why not Breia?  Well,  that is just what we did today and it was wonderful.  First of all there was not another person on the trails all the time we were there which is kind of sad given this tremendous resource but we weren’t complaining. We hiked from the railroad parking lot to the warming hut and back via the rim trail. With a nice breeze blowing up from the gorge, we hardly noticed the temps in the high 80’s. Hardwoods and evergreens were in full bloom and the trails were clear and dry except for a few small blow downs. For a great hike that is just a short drive from the Utica /Rome area, these trails can’t be beat.  Don’t like black flies, hike the Breia Trail System. You’ll be glad you did. A sincere thank you to our benefactor and all the volunteers who make the Breia trail system possible.

Earl and Susan

How does BREIA do it..?

April 5th, 2013
Just started the XC-thing in February and immediately fell in love with it. After paying $20/day at a resort to the East, we went to BREIA and were completely astounded by the superior quantity and quality of the skiing there, (and for free..?) I don’t have any idea where your funding comes from, but you people do an astounding job. Thank you all so much for your efforts.


We went today (April 4th) and there was still plenty of snow to be found off Egypt Road and on the hill. (It was a tad slick, but what’s a day on skis without a good face-plant?)


Thanks again, and we’ll see you many times next year!

Another great day in spite of the dogs!

March 23rd, 2013
To all the volunteers who make the trails so wonderful, and to those who contribute so much in the way of funding, thank you.  I have been driving about an hour and forty minutes ONE WAY to ski at Jackson Hill for 3 years, now.  I love the open meadows, the woodlots, and the gentle hills.   What I don’ t enjoy is the one or two people who for some reason still believe they can bring their dogs to run the trails.  BREIA has asked, and posted, NO dogs….it does not matter that you, as the dog owner, thinks your dog is special because it doesn’t bite, or it loves the snow, or if your dog has been skiing with you for years…the rule is NO DOGS !!!   Please, I know you don’t have to bring your dog to work, or to the movies, or to the diner…please do not bring them to BREIA.  Many people donate time and finances so that others can enjoy the trails…have enough respect for those to follow a couple simple rules.  Once again, thank you to all who do so much for the ski community at large. The conditions today, (Friday) were spectacular !!
John Gosier
Chaumont, NY

Life with the BREIA Trails: A profound thank you!!

March 22nd, 2013
To all the BREIA staff who make it happen,  I just passed sixty days of cross skiing this season on the BREIA trails and find myself struggling to find words appropriate to express the level of gratitude for the opportunity your collective work provides.  I sincerely hope you all take pride in the quality of grooming maintained throughout this season and those past.  Because of your work the trails provide a respite from the noise of every day life and gives those who ski them the opportunity to refresh our bodies and cleanse our minds.  We who live in the area  and make use of your trails are so fortunate to have cross countryt rails and you at our doorstep.
Thank you so very much, Tony Rabasca

BREIA Trails

March 22nd, 2013
A note to send a sincere THANK YOU to all involved for the opportunity to ski on the BREIA X/C Trail System.  This was our first year skiing at BREIA (adding to our normal X/C skiing destinations north and south of Syracuse) and what an excellent skiing experience it has been.  We have skied most of your trail system in all weather and trail conditions this year and what a pleasure.  There is such diversity and uniqueness between all three areas from the open field experience with views, wooded areas, challenging downhills, and varied terrain.  Yesterday, it was a delightful mid to late morning ski on the “rolled” trails at Jackson Hill in surprisingly excellent conditions.  We also skied at Jackson Hill on Monday with excellent conditions and had the pleasure of seeing a pure white with black tail “ermine” scampering around in the woods next to the connecting trail between the “Into the Woods” and “Skyfield” trails. 

One question that I do have relates to mileages of your trail system.  I could find no references to the mileages of each of your trails either on your site and maps, other sites that reference BREIA, or at your different areas.   I was just wondering if any information was available.

Thanks again for a wonderful skiing experience and we are hoping to ski Egypt Hill this coming Monday. 

Tony & Liz

BREIA Response: 

 Thanks for your comments.

With regard to trails’ distance, BREIA has never broken those distances out by trail segments for public consumption.  There is no particular reason why.  Since there have been several inquiries this winter about the distances, we would like to get some new signs made for next winter that list some trail distances.

Rolling vs Grooming?

March 20th, 2013

On 3/20/2013 12:48 PM, gregg wrote:

Had the pleasure of skiing the Canal trail and Jackson Hill for the first a couple of weeks ago and plan to be out there tomorrow or Friday.  I am a bit SW of your area and the snow has been very thin for many weeks, so it was a welcome find!

Can you please explain the difference between "Rolling" vs "Grooming"? Is rolling compacting, but not laying tracks?

Thank You!

 BREIA Response:

You are correct. Rolling is the use of a cylindrical drum to compact the snow on the trail. This is a separate implement from the groomer that sets the track. Rolling is typically done early in the season  and then mainly grooming from then on. However, occasionally with thaws, heavy snows or major changes in conditions, we need to roll the trails again before grooming. Because of the time involved in doing each area, we sometimes cannot get everything done in a day.


March 20th, 2013

Been really enjoying the spring ski.  Really glad other skiers helped track the trail.  Please don’t go by the sign in sheets in determining how many users you have.  Usually being in a hurry to ski I never seem to sign in.  Have used the Jackson more this year then ever.  Also, the spring conditions @ Pixley have been great! Thanks to for the new convenience buildings; sorry to see them go!  mc martin

Classic ski trails vs Touring trails

March 19th, 2013
On 3/19/2013 9:25 AM, Paul wrote:

In addition to classic trails, are there any good ski touring areas within BREIA or nearby?

BREIA response:

We generally groom all of our trails. At this time of year we do not groom more than once, maybe twice weekly because of the cost and fewer skiers out.  We are not grooming today, despite the new snow, because more, lake effect, is expected to arrive tonight. 

At  this time (noon Tuesday), we expect to roll the trails Wednesday, but that’s not a promise.  Don’t know where you are coming from.  Other nearby cost-free places you might consider for touring trails would be Lake Julia in Remsen and the Trenton Greenbelt in the Town of Trenton.
Hope this is helpful!