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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!

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!

Jackson Hill Conditions March 7

March 8th, 2013
The conditions on Jackson Hill were icy, crusty and wind blown in spots on march 7. Our weather has taken its toll. Hopefully, new snow and better temps will help for the weekend.

Ski equipment?

March 3rd, 2013

On 3/3/2013 11:53 AM, Marion wrote:

 To whom it may concern:
A friend of mine recommended your ski trails because she had such a great time. I wanted to come with my daughter to ski there tomorrow (Monday), but I was not able to find days or times online when you are open. We would need to rent a set of boots and skis for my daughter and since we are over 1 hour away I wanted to check before heading out.
Thank you,

  BREIA response:
Our trails are open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset free of charge. We have no staff on-site at any of the locations.  Ski equipment is only available on Saturdays and Sundays, but not from us.  See the note at the top of our “Trail Conditions” page on our website, which reads:
BREIA does not have any ski or snowshoe equipment available for rent or loan.

However, the Boonville Search & Rescue Squad, located at the Canal Trail trail-head, next to the Headwaters Shopping Center in Boonville loans out XC-ski equipment at this site only. Normal hours are Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 4pm. They have ski equipment available for free loan (donation appreciated), but you will need to leave them $5 + your driver’s license as a deposit on the equipment. When you return the equipment, they return both to you and you can either take the $5 or donate it…your choice.

Rules for Dogs on Your Trails

February 25th, 2013


On 2/25/2013 7:14 AM, John  wrote:

Good Morning,
     First of all, Thank You!!  You guys do an awesome job of making these trails the absolute best in all of Central New York.  I have a question though.  I’ve encountered people skiing with their dogs the past couple times I’ve been out and am wondering what the latest rules are for dogs.  A few weeks ago I encountered a very large dog with it’s owner on the Jackson Hill trails (going from the warming hut toward the Sunfield). It was fairly well behaved, but as I said, it was a large dog and did some serious trampling of your beautifully groomed trails.  I politely said something to the lady, and she said that one can have dogs ONLY on the Jackson Hill trails.  Then yesterday, I encountered another very large dog (with owners) on the Canal Trail at the trailhead below Pixley Falls, with the same result to your nicely groomed trails. The lady there said, oh no, the website says you can have dogs on the Canal Trail only.  Therein lies my question. 
     I know your website says you can have dogs on the Canal Trail only, but the sign at the Trail-head of the Canal Trail (again, below Pixley) says the NEW rules are no dogs on any trails.  I’m just curious which is correct. Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs, just not when I’m skiing on some of the most pristine trails in the State.   
     Most people get their information about whether or not to bring their dog from your website, so the latest rules, whatever they may be, should probably be up there at the very least.   Thanks for any information you can give me, and once again, thanks for the wonderful work you do. 
Sherrill, NY


BREIA Response:

Hi John…
Thanks for again addressing the “dogs” issue.  As mentioned in a blog posting last week (below), dogs are prohibited from all BREIA  trails in winter, with the exception of the Canal Trail, where they are discouraged. The difference is that the Canal Trail is on State land, where we do not have the right to enforce a prohibition.  All other BREIA trails are on private land, and we do prohibit dogs there during the winter months.

You are correct… this clarification needs to be clearly stated on our website, but it takes a little time to get our webmaster to update permanent items here.  We are requesting that the dog rules be added here prominently.

Thanks for your concern. It is one of ours also.

Jackson Hill Sunday

February 25th, 2013
On 2/24/2013 6:47 PM, Marcia wrote:
 My daughter and I skied the yellow and blue trails on Jackson Hill today. Although it was quite icy in spots it was a very nice ski and the trails were in fairly good condition. There was a large group of 30 people skiing as well and everyone out there seemed to be noting themselves. A few falls for sure. 

Dogs at Pixley(Canal Trail) and Jackson Hill

February 23rd, 2013

It is sad to note that dog owners do not feel responsible for picking up after their animals.  On 2/22/13 skiers were greeted with 2 different dog deposits.  This was not as bad as what greeted skiers approx 3 locks from the RT 46 crossing.  It was a plastic bag containing what looked like animal parts.  How can anyone be so thoughtless!  Contacted someone @ Breia.  Hopefully it has been removed.  Warned a person with unleashed dog and they leashed their animal to keep it away from the bag.
There has also been 2 occasions (on weekends) that unleashed dogs wee on the Jackson Hill trail.
How can people abuse such a great asset!
The groomers have done a great job this year.  m c martin

BREIA Response:

Dogs are absolutely banned from all BREIA trails during the winter months (for the reasons you state above) with the exception of the Canal Trail. While we try to discourage bringing doggs on the Canal Trail, it is on State-owned land (NYS Canals Division), and we do not have the ability to prohibit dogs from State land.  It is fun for dogs and their owners to be on trails together, but doing so lowers the experience for all others, and we wish all trail users owning dogs would consider and respect that.

Skiiing President’s weekend

February 21st, 2013

On 2/21/2013 3:55 PM,  Glenn wrote:

I can’t believe the past few years, we have been missing the best trail set of the 3, Skyfield on Jackson!  We skied all 3 trail sets Presidents Weekend and Skyfield on Jackson was everybody’s favorite.  Not that the other 2 weren’t really nice too, but the trails and the grooming was the best at Skyfield on Jackson!  Friday afternoon, we skied the Canal Trail, Saturday we skied Skyfield on Jackson all day, Sunday we went to Osceola-Tug Hill, and Monday we skied Egypt Road.  I always enjoy the Glacier Trail where you ring the bell before descending!
Thanks for a great trail system.  We will definitely be returning next year!


Horses on BREIA trails?

February 11th, 2013

 On 2/11/2013 4:19 PM, kimberly wrote:

Hello, I am writing because I am confused about the status of horses on the BREIA trails. Originally, horses were welcomed during the summer months and are still mentioned on some of the road side signs. However, there is one gate on Egypt Road that says “no horses” , but this gate is not adjacent to any parking area. Are there certain areas where horses are permitted or restricted? None of the other signs at the parking lots specifically address the issue. Riders have enjoyed the trails for years but now the signs convey mixed messages. Can you please clarify? Thank you.

BREIA Response:

Horses are not permitted on the BREIA trails on private land at any time.

You are correct that that was not always the case.  Years ago, some BREIA signs were ordered and posted that did permit horses  But then our insurance carrier objected, and we thought all of those signs had been removed/replaced. The policy now, no horses on any private lands that BREIA trails cross, is firm and should be respected by all users.

As to BREIA trails on state-owned lands, while we discourage horses on our trails there, we cannot and would not attempt to counter any State policies concerning horses on State-owned lands.