A trail through time
John Brown Farm in the town of North Elba is the home and gravesite of abolitionist John Brown. John Brown died in the pursuit of freedom of slaves, and after an assault on Harpers Ferry to obtain arms in 1859 he was hanged in Virginia. His body was transported back to his North Elba home, along with several of his comrades who aided him in the Harpers Ferry raid.
Today John Brown’s Farm is open to the public and part of the New York state Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. This landmark is a staple of the area and holds significant importance in the history of slavery. The John Brown Farm is a great place to visit to continue your journey through nature and history in the High Peaks region!
There is also another key feature to this historical site: the trail network surrounding the area. The network offers numerous possibilities for the entire family with four different trails that visitors can walk: The Blue Trail (.50 miles), the Yellow Trail (.40 miles), the Potato Field Loop (1.80 miles), and the Ski Jump Trail (1.10 miles).
Leaving from behind John Brown’s family home, you will find a trail register where many of the trails leave from. There is also trail access near the small dirt parking area that's on the left as you enter the property. Trails begin at the edge of the field on both sides of the road.
Most of the trails located on the farm are easy with a gentle grade, only a few of the trails would be classified as moderate in layout. No matter your age or abilities the trails here have something for you.
The trails are open year-round and offer opportunities for hiking, gentle walks, birding, picnicking, trail running, and relaxation. The trails also offer some incredible views of Algonquin mountain and other peaks as well as views of the nearby ski jumps. In winter, they are open to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The trails are dog friendly, but it's recommended that you keep your pet leashed on the trails and make sure to clean up after them. Dogs are allowed to roam free in the open areas.
Trailhead: From the intersection of Routes 73 and 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue for 1.75 miles or to John Browns Farm Road on the right. It's a slightly hidden right that crosses Old Military Road at the corner. Follow this for 0.75 miles to its end at the historical site.
This trail system is perfect for all ages, makes, and models of hikers.
Open year-round, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing
This is a popular area for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and winter trail-running. Access is easy with no restrictions.
Find out more
Read the blog, Purpose, Choice, Legacy, about snowshoeing at this historic site.