Jay Peak and Big Jay

Hiked Jay Peak and Big Jay on 11/4/2017, the weather was forecast to be clear but I was in the fog until noon time when it finally cleared. These two peaks are in far northern Vermont near the Canadian border. Jay Peak is also a ski area. There is a trail that is part of the Long Trail that goes to the summit of Jay Peak and there is a herd path that goes over to Big Jay. Temps were in the low 30s to start and low 40s by the time I got back to the car. The trail was quite wet in places probably runoff from the big storm back on sunday and monday. I also removed a few large branches from the trail but there didn’t seem to be any new blowdowns blocking the trail. It was an uneventful hike up to Jay Peak and no views due to being in the clouds all the way up.

Stairs over the pipes for snow making equipment

It was nice to have the stairs except they were covered with a thin layer of ice and the other side was a slippery ramp. It was only .2 miles to the summit up the ski trail from here. You could also stay on the trail over some slippery rocky ledges which I chose not to do. I continued over to the herd path to Big Jay. This is a trail that was illegally cut a few years ago and not maintained since then. There were quite a few new blowdowns from the recent storm which made for a few instances of searching for the trail on the other side. There were also some nice sections of walking and a few really muddy sections.

Rime ice on the trees

I reached the summit where there was a rescue toboggan oddly enough as there are no trails from here and I’m quite sure no ski patrol. I tried to sign into the register but neither of the pens worked and there wasn’t a pencil.

Rescue tobbogan
Summit jar but nothing to write with

While I was eating my PBJ the sun came out and warmed me up and the clouds lifted and on the way back there were some views.

Jay Peak from near Big Jay summit
View down into the still green valley

I had to navigate the fresh blowdowns again but managed not to lose the trail this time.

Fresh blowdown
Mountain Ash berries

Since it was now clear I returned to the summit of Jay Peak where there were some nice views.

Big Jay from Jay Peak
Looking to the east from Jay Peak

Walked back to the car and started the very long drive home. Only 13 peaks left to finish the New England 100 Highest list.

Track for the day

Seems the trail location on the map is in the wrong place as I was definitely on the trail all the way to Jay Peak.

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