Black River Environmental Improvement Association


The Black River Environmental Improvement Association, known as “BREIA”, is a 1,500 acre conservation and outdoor recreation system located in the western Adirondacks – Tug Hill Plateau region of Central New York, near Boonville. BREIA offers free-of-charge public access to fifty kilometers of trails, restrooms, and warming huts for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing at five locations. BREIA is a non-profit corporation that built and maintains these facilities through funding from a private family foundation.

Potato Hill Farm & Trails

The Potato Hill Farm campus offers over 6 kilometers of well-maintained biking, hiking, xc-skiing and snowshoeing trails across 170 acres of land. Visitors are also able to visit the working farm which includes Black Welsh Mountain sheep, Alpine Dairy goats, alpacas, and donkeys. All our structures are designed in the Adirondack Style oriented towards majestic views of the Tug Hill Plateau.

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Jackson Hill Sunfield Trails

The finest views and the most spectacular landscapes are to be found in the trail system on Jackson Hill. Although these trails encompass some rugged and remote terrain, they also include, in the Long Field and Sun Field areas, pleasant loops suitable for beginners. From the Sunfield the views extend as far as the hills south of the Mohawk Valley. The North Loop in the Long Field gives a glimpse of the Tug Hill escarpment stretching away to the north. Adirondack Field offers the most impressive view of all, sweeping north and west over the vast wilderness of the Adirondacks. East of Jackson Hill Road, beyond the picturesque and newly renovated warming hut, the land slopes steeply down to the Black River Canal, offering a challenge to advanced skiers and telemarkers. Further south is Snowshoe Heaven, a wild area offering many opportunities for showshoers. In several places the Skyfields system crosses private and State property, where BREIA manages the trails.

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Jackson Hill Telemark Trails

At the Jackson Hill Telemark (JHT) campus, bikers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers are challenged with a variety of trails overlooking the vast wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains.  The trails range from intermediate to advanced and accommodate different skill levels.

Alder Creek Gorge / Egypt Road Trails

With its welcoming warming hut and its varied forest landscape, the Egypt Road trail system is the favorite among many visitors. The easy/moderate Rim Trail overlooks Alder Creek valley. Plunging down into the valley are four Gully Trails for expert skiers, who at the bottom are rewarded with the Creek View Trail along a pristine brook winding through a deep hemlock forest. The Rim Trail continues north of Egypt Road as the Glacier Trail, which includes some steeper terrain as it traverses an interesting glacial landscape. There is a link to the impressive Great Trail, which has its own trailhead further east on Egypt Road.

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The Canal Trail

The Canal Trail was the first facility to be developed and remains one the most popular. Running from Boonville south for 13 kilometers along the historic Black River Canal, the trail is flat for much of its length. As the canal descends into the spectacular Boonville Gorge and passes the beautiful Pixley Falls State Park, steeper sections next to ruined locks become more numerous. The warming hut at the trailhead in Boonville offers of ski equipment for a small rental fee during operating hours.

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