A newly constructed 2.5-mile trail to the western end of the Jay Mountain Ridge is complete and available for public use the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced. The trail bypasses the steep and eroded sections of an existing herd path that had been the primary access to mountain’s summit.
“The new Jay Mountain trail is safer and easier to hike and will allow more people to hike to the summit and enjoy the views. It should also serve to attract more visitors to the nearby communities of Jay, Elizabethtown, Keene and Keene Valley,” DEC Regional Director Robert Stegemann said in a statement issued to the press.
The Jay Mountain Trail starts at a new trailhead at the intersection of Jay Mountain Road and Upland Meadows Road in the town of Jay. The new trailhead is located on Forest Preserve lands approximately 300 feet downhill from where the old herd path entered the woods and offers parking for up to five cars.
At the end of the new trail, a short spur trail to the north leads to an overlook that provides a spectacular 360 degree scenic view. The High Peaks, Whiteface Mountain, Ausable River Valley, Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont can all be seen. There are some rough sections of trail that will improve in the future according to the DEC statement.
Hikers can continue along the ridgeline, following rock cairns, for approximately 1.5 miles to the summit of Jay Mountain. The ridgeline is largely open and provides numerous opportunities to enjoy the surrounding scenery.
DEC contracted with the Student Conservation Association’s Adirondack Program and the Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Professional Trail Crew to build the trail with DEC staff. The trail work was funded by the Environmental Protection Fund and a donation from ADK’s Hurricane Mountain Chapter.
The new trailhead was constructed by the Town of Jay Highway Department, with additional work by inmate crews from the Department of
Correctional Services Moriah Shock Camp and DEC staff.
Food, gas and lodging for those hiking Jay Mountain can be found in the nearby communities of Jay, Elizabethtown, Keene and Keene Valley.