Jay Mountain is a moderate hike through stunning forests to an open ridegline trail that provides many great scenic vistas on the way to a rocky summit.
From Lake Placid, take Route 86 toward Wilmington. From the four-way intersection in Wilmington, follow Route 86 toward Jay. In Jay, take a left onto Route 9N and then an immediate right onto Glen Road. Follow Glen Road to its end, and turn left on Jay Mountain Road. Continue for just under a mile to the intersection with Upland Meadows Road, which will be on the right, the trail is right near this intersection.
By the numbers
- Mileage: 2.5 miles one way to the end of the the marked trail, 4 miles one way to the summit
- Elevation: 3,600 feet
- Elevation gain: 2,200 feet
In 2012, the DEC opened up a new trail to the west end of the ridge, eliminating the previous herd path that was often eroded and very steep. The new trail is a bit longer, but it's more gradual with much less erosion.
As the moderate trail passes through a mixed forest you will come to the open ridge after 2.5 miles of climbing. Ending here is fine; the views are spectacular and this is the end of the marked trail. But more views and climbing await those who wish for more adventure. Continuing along the herd path along the ridge, you pass in and out of the trees as you climb and descend many bumps. There are a few tricky sections of open rock where care is needed. Many sections that look difficult usually have a path along an easier route. The trail ends at the east end of the ridge. Outstanding views that change around every corner await those who want an adventure.
This is a fairly popular trail so it is likely to be broken out. After the end of the marked trail, some sections may be tricky in snowshoes, so caution is needed. This trail is not suitable for cross-country skiing.