Difficulty: Intermediate

Length: 5 -18 miles round-trip (depending on how far up the ridge you walk)

If you want to avoid the crowded trailheads of The Garden, Adirondack Loj, and Ausable Club but still want a fantastic view of the Adirondack Mountains, the Jay Mountain Range might be just the hike you’ve been looking for! Jay Mountain’s elevation is 3,600 ft – too short to be a 46er – this mountain ranks as the 79th tallest in the state. But don’t let this fact fool you! This mountain range is arguably one of the most beautiful hikes in the Adirondacks – there is over a mile and a half of open ridgeline with 360-degree views of Whiteface, Lake Champlain, the High Peaks and more!

The New York DEC built the trailhead in 2012 to facilitate more visitors, but this hike is still off of most people’s radar. Before the trail was built there was a herd path that required some bushwhacking. It is not uncommon to have this mountain to yourself. From the parking lot there is a 2.5-mile hike up to the ridgeline. After 2.5 miles the trail comes to a fork – take the left trail for a quick hop up to a view or go right to continue to the ridgeline and summit. On the ridgeline follow the carrans over a series of false peaks until you reach the summit. It is worth noting that this hike should not be attempted in poor weather due to the complete exposure of the ridge.

Blueberries are abundant in the late spring and early summer. White-throated sparrows announce their presence through the balsam fir and red spruce. Snowshoes and microspikes are a must this time of year.

Directions from campus: Follow NY-86 to Saranac Lake and continue through towards Lake Placid. Off of NY-86 make a slight right onto Old Military Rd and follow it until it merges onto NY-73E. Follow NY-73E until you reach the town of Keene. Just past the ADK Café make a left onto NY-9N and follow that road for 3.1 miles. After the 3.1 miles make a right onto Styles Brook Rd and continue for 4 miles. Make a left onto Jay Mountain Rd and the trailhead will be on your left-hand side.

Happy Trails!

Connor 3

Connor Bischoff

  • Age: 25
  • Senior Majoring in Natural Resource Sustainability with Minor in Forestry
  • Living in a cabin in Vermontville NY

Hobbies include photography, hiking, skiing, canoeing, sailing, bathing in rivers and lakes, chopping firewood, and finishing homework right before it is due

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