BREIA is a not-for-profit corporation funded by a private family foundation, as a gift to the people of New York. Access to the trails and facilities is free, and donations are never accepted. The trails remain open throughout the year, and offer hiking and biking opportunities during the warm seasons.
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 three locations in diverse landscapes, each offering a distinctive skiing experience. Maps for each system are available at trailheads.
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 Boonville Search and Rescue warming hut at the trailhead offers the rental of ski equipment for a donation.
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 “kettle” landscape. There is a link to the impressive Great Trail, which has its own trailhead further east on Egypt Road.
The finest views and the most spectacular landscapes are to be found in the Skyfields 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.