A Butler Conservation Project


BREIA was created in 1984 with the goal of conserving, maintaining, and enhancing the scenic and historical values of the Adirondack and Tug Hill Region. Its central philosophy is that these beautiful landscapes and all they offered should be available to the larger public. The campuses are designed as world-class recreational facilities.

BREIA now boasts more than 50 kilometers of trails, making it one of the largest classic ski, snowshoe, and mountain biking trail systems in the East. There are five public locations, each offering a distinctive experience for walking, hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

BREIA is a not-for-profit corporation funded by Butler Conservation, as a gift to the people of New York. Access to the trails and facilities is free, and donations are not accepted. The trails remain open throughout the year and offer hiking / biking opportunities during the warm seasons, and snowshoeing / cross-country skiing in the winter months.




An Enduring Commitment

To bring a project like the Black River Environmental Improvement Association to life, it takes a group of people who truly believe in the value of our natural spaces, committed to preserving their beauty and increasing their accessibility for generations to come. Guided by the generosity of Butler Conservation, our team is made up of passionate conservationists, educators, and construction professionals, each contributing a vital role to the longevity and evolution of the BREIA landscape.

Butler Conservation

BREIA’s commitment to land stewardship and impact on future generations is in thanks to the support and leadership of Butler Conservation. Butler Conservation (BC) is a private foundation dedicated to the conservation and protection of the natural environment, advancing environmental education, and offering outdoor recreation especially to young people. Established in 1988, BC’s work is centered on the concept of “legacy conservation,” targeting its support to six “legacy geographies” in North America, South America, and Africa. Each offers unique natural beauty, ecological significance, and opportunities for recreation.

One of these designated geographies, the Adirondacks in central and upstate New York, is characterized by spruce, pine, and deciduous trees representative of the eastern forest-boreal transition ecoregion. BC dedication to conservation in this area stems from Gilbert Butler’s upbringing in Utica and years of outdoor activity in the surrounding landscape.

Board of Trustees