Last weekend my husband, brother in law, pup and I headed out to check out the recently refurbished Foxey Brown Trail. It was a cold, early winter afternoon and the trail was a little damp, but the wooded trail was a welcome escape from the whipping wind.
The trail was named after an Adirondack Hermit who came to the area in the 1890's. He was known as Foxey Brown but his real name was David Brennan. He made a living hunting, trapping, and fishing while living in a remote log cabin he had built himself 6 miles north of Piseco.
To reach the Foxey Brown Trail, you first have to head to the Piseco Airport. From the east end of Old Piseco Road, the airport is just shy of a two mile drive. There is ample parking in the lot, and there are even picnic tables and a playground great for summer use. There is a large gate blocking vehicular traffic, but it is easily passed on foot to access the sign-in kiosk. The kiosk also has a copy of the trail map that I always like to take a photo of for reference if needed later.
The first bit of the trail follows between the woods to your right and the airport and runway to your left. It is a nice paved stretch that forks off as you reach the end of the runway. A small wooden foot bridge is there to help you cross over the ditch.
The trail has recently undergone a serious rehabilitation thanks to the Piseco Lake Association (PLA) and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). After years of infrequent use, the PLA contacted the DEC in 2019 to ask for assistance in improving the trail. A lot of work was undertaken, including removing blowdown from the trail, ad adding new signage, including mileage markers to help you keep track of the distance you've gone. One of the larger undertakings of this project was the construction of a 150 foot trail bridge that crosses over wetlands. According to DEC, this is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the Adirondacks.
As we hiked for a ways we were able to really enjoy the work they have done to the trail. You can see where they have moved rocks and logs out of the trail to make it more easily passable. There was even a huge tree that was too large to move so they cut a path out of it. After a while, we noticed a marked split in the trail that didn't happen to be on the map. We decided to split up to explore both options and my husband and brother in law went straight while my dog Rocco and I took the trail to the left. This created a smaller loop that cut the 6.2 mile trip down to just under 3 miles.
After a short, winding trip through the woods, the trail comes out onto a ridge and leads to a gravel road that continues downhill, back to the paved pathway to the airport. There were some really neat sights to see. It would be an awesome place to be on a busy airport day! Two benches were also placed along the trail for a place to rest. By the time we got back to the car, we were quite chilled!
We waited in the warm car for the rest of our party to return. A little while later they came back, talking about how amazing the new bridge is. They also told me that eventually, the trail merges with the infamous Northville-Lake Placid Trail.
This was a great hiking trail and I am sure it will be a fantastic cross country ski trail once we get some snow! While fairly flat, this long loop can be quite demanding, so please be prepared before you head out.
This winter, discover the many fun, healthy outdoor adventures that Hamilton County has to offer. Stay for a day or a weekend; we know you'll have fun!