New Jay Mountain trail opened
Jay Mountain, a 3,600-foot peak between Keene and Jay, is a strenuous hike, but it's a favorite of many people for its panoramic views of the High Peaks, Champlain Valley and Green Mountains.
Until now, hikers have had to follow an informal "herd path" up the mountain. But now the state Department of Environmental Conservation has opened an official trail, climbing 2.5 miles up the western end of the Jay Mountain Ridge.
The herd path was steep in places and had become eroded, prompting plans to replace it.
"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," said DEC Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann.
The trailhead is at the intersection of Jay Mountain Road and Upland Meadows Road, about 300 feet from where the herd path has started. It has parking for up five vehicles.
At the top of the trail, there's a 360-degree view. Hikers then can continue another 1.5 miles along the open ridge line to the actual summit.
The trail was built by the Student Conservation Association and the Adirondack Mountain Club's professional crew with funding from the state's Environmental Conservation Fund and a donation from the Adirondack Mountain Club's local chapter.
In the spirit of promoting hiking-related economic development, DEC noted that food, gas and lodging are available in Jay, Elizabethtown, Keene and Keene Valley.