Our first hike with Luke and Sophie in 2006!
I had been wanting to revisit Jay Peak after our snowed-out October 2005 attempt
. It looked like a very promising hike, both from what we had seen that day and from what I had heard. It also would do well, I thought, as a hike to go on with Luke and Sophie, who were looking for something not too long and scenic.
We drove down the night before and stayed at the Fish Creek Campground, a little ways west of Saranac Lake, in the lake district of the Adirondacks. The campsite is huge, with hundreds of sites. We still managed to get a good, quiet site, and, after a mexican dinner in Saranac Lake, we bedded down for the night. I was looking forward to exploring some new bit of trail tomorrow.
The day dawned with a lot of ground fog - but the forecast was for a nice day, and we could tell that blue sky was not far above. We took the s2000s on some quiet, twisty, and well-paved backroads over to the hamlet of Jay, which is (not suprisingly) close to where the trailhead to Jay peak is located.
The treailhead to Jay Peak is on Glen road, a small paved backway that is itself reached from the town of Jay via Country Road 12. There is no specific parking area - we just parked along the side of the road.
The actual trailhead (or rather, herdpath head, because this is not an official trail), is marked by a small wilderness marker disk, a bit of flagging, and an eroded bit of bank. Upon closer examination, a clear path can be seen. The path heads dead straight, and almost due east, up towards the Jay Range's ridge's western end. It is easy to follow (in the summer - there are few to no tree markers or blazes).
As we neared the ridgetop, we started to break out into the beginning of many, many open areas. The day was clear and, although a bit hazy, the views were good. The bugs were moderately annoying, and bug spray was definitely needed. Quite a few black flies out today!
At the first major lookout on the western end of the ridge, we stopped for a mid-morning lunch break. From here, we had a good view of the entire ridge that led all the way to the highest point in the Jay Range. This was the point, last October, where the deep snow and lack of snowshoes forced us to turn around.
There was a memorial cross at this lookout which wasn't here 9 months before.