The Skyfield Trails are a part of the Black River Environmental Improvement Association network of multi-use recreation trails in the southern Black River Valley. They are groomed frequently, free to use, and open for use as hiking and biking trails in the summer and fall. They feature excellent views (weather permitting) and link to the Canal Trail. A warming hut is available at the main trailhead on the Jackson Hill Road.
The marquee feature of the Skyfield Trails are the open, gently sloping fields on the southern Tug Hill Plateau. Both the Long Field area that is located on the west side of the Jackson Hill Road just north of the main trailhead and the Sun Field area to the south are great beginner trails with views of the Upper Tug Hill Plateau and Mohawk Valley, respectively. Both feature gently rolling hills and options in the trees for those windy days.
Skiers and snowshoers will find steeper terrain on the east side of the Jackson Hill Road. The Adirondack Field Loop offers intermediate terrain with great views into the Adirondack foothills. At its south end, the Snowshoe Heaven area drops down the ridge in multiple there-and-back trails. On the north end, multiple steep loops exist in addition to a spur linking to the Canal Trail.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.