Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Big Jay, VT
Trails: Long Trail, herd path
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, June 3, 2019
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Start from the Jay Peak summit area. I had trouble finding Long Trail connection. I read several trail reports talking about following fences, but it took 45 minutes and 3 attempts to find correct one. The easiest is to start at summit, descend the steps to the ski trail where you first break out of the woods, turn left to head back down the ski trail and turn right down an access road. The fence is on your left and there is a gap before it starts up again. There is a sign marking the continuation of the Long Trail and two other signs about preservation, etc. My first error was going right at foot of the stairs and following the white blazes. When I saw what looked like a herd path, I took it and bushwhacked down to a 20 foot drop off then returned. Then I checked the fence that borders ski trail you use for the ascent. No opening. Finally went down the access road. (The first path would probably have worked if I had stayed on the white blazes. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: None on this trail unless you count the mud bogs. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Unmaintained trail - although some blowdowns have been delimbed. Flagging was evident for most of the path, but either lacking (or not readily visible to me) at a few tricky spots. Upon return from the summit, two boards on the fence where the Long Trail reenters the woods had come loose on one end and were blocking the fence opening. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Saw dog prints in the mud, but don't recommend unless your dog likes bushwhack conditions and mud bogs. 
Bugs: None - and that was the only good thing about this hike. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Found a grey rubber piece with LLBean brand stamped on it. I don't have any equipment like this, so not sure what it is. Looks like some kind of strap fastener or cord keeper. 
Comments: Still several snow patches mostly in the col area. Can bypass most. Most surprisingly stable, but only about a foot deep, so not a major post-hole concern - EXCEPT some have an icy mud bog underneath. (It was below freezing the prior night and I was hiking this mid-morning to early pm.) As you might expect on an unmaintained trail, there are many blowdowns, spruce traps and mud bogs without any aids to avoid the mud (other than a few tree branches placed in the mud). There are many bypass paths to skirt some of these and here is where the flagging helps to get back on correct path. in some key spots where the path appeared to branch into 2 or 3 options, either the flagging was missing or I was unable to see it. I wound up following some false paths for a few minutes and actually wound up truly bushwhacking for about .1 mile trying to connect with path. I spent 20-30 minutes in each direction trying to find correct path. Since this is only my second attempt at an unmaintained trail, some of this might be due to lack of experience. So the entire hike was a very challenging and unpleasant experience. To top things off, after reaching the summit black clouds moved in and the showers started, snow showers for the entire trip back to Jay, sometimes with white-out intensity. Took 2 hours each way, but 30 minutes of that was following wrong paths, looking for the right path and other navigation issues. So actual time spent on the correct path was 1.5 hours each way, slowed due to blowdowns, spruces and mud. Some of the flagging was more reassuring than navigationally necessary. I was confident I was on the correct path and the flagging just confirmed that. However, in the bypass areas and other areas where the path branched, I would have spent considerable more time off course without the flagging.  
Name: SpartyhikerfromME 
E-Mail: spartyrules1855 dash hiker at yahoo dotcom 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2019-06-04 
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

Copyright 2009-2019, All Rights Reserved