JAY — The newly constructed 2.5-mile trail to the summit of Jay Mountain is complete and available for public use.

The trail bypasses the steep and eroded sections of an existing herd path that had been the primary access to mountain’s summit.

“DEC is pleased to provide another high-quality recreational opportunity in the Adirondacks for hikers,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Robert Stegemann said in a news release.

“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.”

The trail starts at a new trailhead at the intersection of Jay Mountain Road and Upland Meadows Road in the Town of Jay. The trailhead is located on Forest Preserve lands about 300 feet downhill from where the old herd path entered the woods. It offers parking for up to five cars.

The trail connects to the western end of the mountain’s rock ridge, about 1 mile from the trailhead. There, hikers can take a short spur trail to an overlook that provides a 360-degree scenic view. The High Peaks, Whiteface Mountain, Ausable River valley, Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont can all be seen.

The trail has some rough sections that DEC will be working to improve in the future, the release said.

Hikers can continue along the ridgeline, following rock cairns, for about 1.5 miles to the summit of Jay Mountain. The ridgeline is largely open and provides numerous opportunities to enjoy the surrounding scenery, according to the release.

DEC contracted with the Student Conservation Association’s Adirondack Program and the Adirondack Mountain Club’s professional trail crew to build the trail with DEC staff.

The work was funded by the Environmental Protection Fund and a donation from the Adirondack Mountain Club’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.

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