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 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, especially with snowshoes. 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 a winter adventure.
Distance Round Trip:
From the four-way intersection in Wilmington follow Route 86 toward Jay. Turn right onto Route 9N and drive into Upper Jay. From Upper Jay take County Road 85, just south of the Ausable River bridge. At 2.6 miles reach the intersection of Glen Road, CR 85 now becomes Jay Mountain Road. At 3.4 miles reach the intersection of Upland Meadows Road and the new parking area for the Jay Mountain trail.
Additional Important Information:
Expect heavy winds and Arctic conditions along this open ridge line. Come prepared and dress warm.