Whether you are staying at a quaint bed and breakfast, or a cabin in the woods, Jay is the perfect place to be in summer.
Wake up at sunrise. Listen to the wildlife all around you. Take some time to feel grateful to be in such a beautiful place.
Breakfast with eggs and bacon from one of the local farms will get your day off right. Or if cooking on vacation isn’t your thing, you can grab a bite to eat at Adirondack Mountain Coffee right on the Au Sable River in Upper Jay.
A hike up Jay Mountain is just one way to appreciate the nature that is all around us here. This is a 6.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trip. The trailhead to Jay Mountain Range can be found in Upper Jay at the intersection of Jay Mountain Road and Upland Meadows Road. It is the 79th highest peak of the Adirondack Mountains. It is less crowded than the high peaks and boasts just as spectacular 360 degree views.
If you have smaller children that may not be able to handle such a vigorous excursion, there are many other beautiful was to spend a day outdoors.
The Francis M. Pattno & John F. Gale Memorial Park is a large park along the AuSable River in Au Sable Forks on Grove Road and includes Baseball fields, Soccer fields, Basketball courts, a large playground, picnic and grill areas and a large pavilion. There is also a community garden for residents there. It’s a wonderful place for children to spend a morning. In close proximity is also Henry’s Trail. Henry’s Trail is a ½ mile accessible walking trail for people of all ages and abilities. Along the trail you can find animal themed pods for climbing and creative musical instruments for children to explore.
The Town of Jay Children’s Park and Playground is another option, nestled along the AuSable River, a short stroll downstream from the Covered Bridge and the Douglas Memorial Park. The park is fenced in and has play elements for children aged 2-12 years old, with slides, swings, climbing elements, a sand table, and much more. It also has benches, picnic area, and a pavilion.
A short walk from the Children’s Park, is Douglas Memorial Park and the Jay Covered Bridge. Keep an eye out for a charming historic farmhouse (Jay House) on Randy Lane as you make your way there. Douglas Memorial Park has picnic areas, basketball courts and a tennis court. The Jay Covered Bridge is the only covered bridge still standing in Essex County. It is presently owned by the county and carries pedestrian traffic across the East Branch of the Au Sable River. Originally build in 1857, and restored in 2007, its single span structure incorporates the Howe truss design and is one of only three Howe truss bridges in New York State.
Under the bridge, you will find the rapids and magnificent swimming holes where you can catch a tan laying on the rocks or take a dip to cool off. If you feel like being lazy, you can throw your tube in and ride the current around the twists and turns of the river.
If you are looking to do a little shopping, head to Jay Craft Center where you can find beautiful ceramics – from comfortable mugs to decorative lamps, as well as a collection of works from local Adirondack artists including jewelry, woodworking, painting, photography and more. Young’s Studio and Gallery, a local favorite, is also right around the corner on Route 86 where you can find pottery, paintings, etchings, book arts, and yarns and knitting supplies.
Or if you’re the curious type, stop by the showroom at Styx River Taxidermy where on display you can find specimens, finished mounts, and unique pieces for the oddity collector or natural history enthusiast, alike.
For dinner, everyone loves a good pizza, and Lance’s Pizza right downtown in Au Sable Forks has you covered. If you’re looking for a night out, Ice Jam Inn located on the river in Upper Jay, is the perfect spot with farm to table options, and the best mussels and poutine in town. They also have rooms available for your stay.
Of course, summer is also the time for BBQ. You can always grab some great local meats at the farm store at Moon Valley Farm or Asgaard Farm and Dairy.
For evening entertainment, you can catch a concert every summer Saturday sponsored by the Jay Entertainment and Music Society at the Jay Village Green. The Jay Village Green is a cultural historic area in the hamlet of Jay. The green includes a bandstand, a water fountain, benches, and picnic area. Adjacent to the Green is the Amos & Julia Ward Theater. It is only a short stroll down the road from the Jay Covered Bridge. The Jay Village Green will also be the site of Jay Day on August 19th, 2023, where you will find local vendors, food, and live music.
Live music and the Dogfather food truck can also be found at the Riverside Park, just upstream from Au Sable Forks town, on select nights over the summer. Or you can drop into 20 Main, a happening pub on main street for live music and your favorite libation.
If you are looking for a more laid back, eclectic vibe, you can also find artistic talent, music and performances at the Upper Jay Arts Center, home of the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay.
Don’t forget the sunset over Whiteface Mountain and finish the evening with a night cap and s’mores beside a roaring fire under an extraordinary sky of beautiful stars.
The Town of Jay is also home to several major events during the summer:
4th of July Celebrations, Fair, and Fireworks
Fastpitch Tournament July 7-9th, 2023
Jay Day Fair and Celebration on August 19th, 2023
Ooze Ball Tournament
Farm & Cheese Tour
Art & Studio Tour