Jay Mountain is located in the Town of Jay about 20 miles away from Lake Placid Village. The 2.5-mile hike up the 3,600 foot mountain is relatively easy and offers a wide open view of the surrounding area.
Jay Mountain is within the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area - the smallest wilderness area in the Forest Preserve. The High Peaks. Whiteface, Lake Champlain, the Ausable River Valley, and the mountains of Vermont can be seen from the overlook.
In 2012, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) opened up a newly-constructed 2.5-mile trail that leads to the western end of the Jay Mountain ridge. The new trail begins at the intersection of Jay Mountain Road and Upland Meadows Road in Jay. It is located on Forest Preserve lands downhill from the old herd hiking trail. Here are the directions to the new trail:
- From Lake Placid Village, take NYS Route 86 all the way to Wilmington.
- Continue on Route 86 from Wilmington to the Town of Jay.
- Head south on Route 9N from Jay to Upper Jay.
- In Upper Jay, take Upper Jay-Trumbulls Corners Road for about 2.5-miles until it becomes Jay Mountain Road.
- Follow Jay Mountain Road for .8-mile to Upland Meadows Road, and you'll reach the Jay Mountain Trailhead!
The trailhead has enough space for about five cars to fit. For young or inexperienced hikers, the 2.5-mile trip will likely take 2.5 hours. For a more experienced hiker, the trip may only take 1.5-2.0 hours.
At the end of the 2.5-mile trail, a short spur to the north leads to the overlook. From there hikers can continue along the ridgeline for another 1.5-miles, following rock cairns, in order to reach the summit.
The older trail, which starts downhill from the new one, is steep and eroded, so the DEC's new trail is easier and safer for hikers.
Food, gas, and lodging are all available in nearby Jay, Elizabethtown, Keene, and Keene Valley.
Photo Credit: Pure Adirondacks - http://pureadirondacks.com/