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Jay Peak - Tips? e.g. for driving up with Teens (food, places?)

cymro

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We've decided to gamble and get a rental at Jay peak this year.
We're driving up from boston with 12 and 16r old teen boys. Thankfully iPads will keep them amused :)

Any advice on where to stop to break up the Friday evening journey? I assume some of you are regulars doing this trip and have refined it to perfection.

Any tips ideas for the resort, the drive up, or food along way or near resort!


Cheers and here's hope for Snow and a covid-free (ish) winter
 

WWF-VT

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I have driven from the Boston area to Sugarbush which is a 3+ hour drive for years. We quickly learned that unless it's a bio break or gas fill up then you don't need to stop. Eat dinner at home and get on the road after 6:30 to avoid traffic.
 

thebigo

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I have driven from the Boston area to Sugarbush which is a 3+ hour drive for years. We quickly learned that unless it's a bio break or gas fill up then you don't need to stop. Eat dinner at home and get on the road after 6:30 to avoid traffic.

And when it is gas/bathroom rest stops are faster than exits. I suspect you will quickly get in the habit of making sure the tank is full the night before and there are abundant snacks/drinks ready. We keep a permanent snack bag and few gallons of water in the car all season.

I have even gotten to the point of timing my coffee, to prevent bathroom stops.
 

LONGBOARDR

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Some of the AZ regulars have provided good input so far.
If you're coming up on a season rental I recommend the following for Jay:
skip stops, pack dinner and eat on the way (it passes time and gets you to Jay and cocktails quicker)
Car with snow tires and chain or cables a must (otherwise you may be bunking at the jay village inn)
Have a minimum 1/2 tank of fuel at St Johnsbury aka St Jay. last reliable fuel-food at Lyndonville.

when you get there, Jay village inn is a good place for burgers, steaks rib.
Belfry has a lot of options and is a local watering hole. recently changed hands.
Jay Tavern is good, owner-chef Nelson owned restaurants in Brookline.
Sylvesters market in Montgomery has all your food needs.
Skip the resort for food other than pizza or Momo's japanese delicacies.
Stop at Braults slaughterhouse in Troy and fill your cooler. Great local meats and try the jerky its the best.
Hope you have fun, Jay is a great place.
 

ne_skier

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As for eating suggestions, we usually go up for a 3 day trip once a year and stay in Montgomery Center, our personal food favorite is the Snowshoe Pub. Good food, not too expensive, and it has a small arcade with pool, pinball, hunting simulator etc
 

cymro

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The advice to skip stops is interesting. I'm in my 50s and find that after a couple of hours behind the wheel a short coffee stop is a good one. The question this year is whether leaving Boston around 4pm (picking kids up from school) would be doable or whether (like non-covid years) it's better to wait for rush-hour traffic to subside before heading off

Good tips on gassing up too. Thankfully I run Nokian winter tires on a big SUV so can climb just about anything :)
 

dlague

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The advice to skip stops is interesting. I'm in my 50s and find that after a couple of hours behind the wheel a short coffee stop is a good one. The question this year is whether leaving Boston around 4pm (picking kids up from school) would be doable or whether (like non-covid years) it's better to wait for rush-hour traffic to subside before heading off

Good tips on gassing up too. Thankfully I run Nokian winter tires on a big SUV so can climb just about anything :)

This in mind, Lincoln,NH or Littleton, NH are probably your best bets. Several food options to choose from. I would use Yelp to get an idea for food in those towns. Both are good options for gas as well! After Littleton, there is not much besides St. Johnbury and that is not optimal but does have food and gas choices. The first exit for Lyndonville, VT has some fast food choices and a Dunkin Donuts. After Lyndonville, you will drive over Sheffield Heights and then be getting off in Orleans and the rest of the way is country driving. Jay has a few food options and Jay Peak does as well.

That being said, this is dependent on COVID restrictions because we all know it can raise havoc on planning!


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Zand

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This in mind, Lincoln,NH or Littleton, NH are probably your best bets. Several food options to choose from. I would use Yelp to get an idea for food in those towns. Both are good options for gas as well! After Littleton, there is not much besides St. Johnbury and that is not optimal but does have food and gas choices. The first exit for Lyndonville, VT has some fast food choices and a Dunkin Donuts. After Lyndonville, you will drive over Sheffield Heights and then be getting off in Orleans and the rest of the way is country driving. Jay has a few food options and Jay Peak does as well.

That being said, this is dependent on COVID restrictions because we all know it can raise havoc on planning!


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I always liked stopping in Tilton. Lincoln is zoo on weekends. Similar traffic in Tilton but a lot more variety.

Now I like Ashland. No traffic and it has a Dunkin, BK, and gas station at the bottom of the ramp. Good enough for me.
 

LONGBOARDR

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This in mind, Lincoln,NH or Littleton, NH are probably your best bets. Several food options to choose from. I would use Yelp to get an idea for food in those towns. Both are good options for gas as well! After Littleton, there is not much besides St. Johnbury and that is not optimal but does have food and gas choices. The first exit for Lyndonville, VT has some fast food choices and a Dunkin Donuts. After Lyndonville, you will drive over Sheffield Heights and then be getting off in Orleans and the rest of the way is country driving. Jay has a few food options and Jay Peak does as well.

That being said, this is dependent on COVID restrictions because we all know it can raise havoc on planning!


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Dlague mentioned the Sheffield high point, I think it is mile marker 150 or so. You can expect high winds and white out conditions here regularly, be careful a 18 wheeler going 5 mph will appear out of nowhere fast. many accidents here even in clear weather by people doing left lanes passes when it is still snow/ice covered. Watch for moose too.
 

1dog

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As for eating suggestions, we usually go up for a 3 day trip once a year and stay in Montgomery Center, our personal food favorite is the Snowshoe Pub. Good food, not too expensive, and it has a small arcade with pool, pinball, hunting simulator etc

WWF Bigo and LB all have the suggestion on non-stop - its a critical one with kids - been doing it for years to Mad River Valley and 3 hours as compared to 4 makes a huge difference. Jay will be 3.5 w no traffic - which. . actually coud happen this winter!

Boston at 4 PM will be a test on a snowy weekend. We have fellow ski house members from Beantown who leave at 2 and others at 8 - never
4.

I pads work with my 10 year old ( my older kids never had electronics, but they rarely complained - rest stops - yes, never otherwise, too tempting and it just makes the trip longer than it has to be. Thats said a large SUV is my choice when more than 2 of us. Nokia's on my Saab 900 over Roxbury Gap have never failed me either. . .
 

dlague

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WWF Bigo and LB all have the suggestion on non-stop - its a critical one with kids - been doing it for years to Mad River Valley and 3 hours as compared to 4 makes a huge difference. Jay will be 3.5 w no traffic - which. . actually coud happen this winter!

Boston at 4 PM will be a test on a snowy weekend. We have fellow ski house members from Beantown who leave at 2 and others at 8 - never
4.

I pads work with my 10 year old ( my older kids never had electronics, but they rarely complained - rest stops - yes, never otherwise, too tempting and it just makes the trip longer than it has to be. Thats said a large SUV is my choice when more than 2 of us. Nokia's on my Saab 900 over Roxbury Gap have never failed me either. . .

Roxbury Gap can be sketchy! Went over it to get to Sugarbush and there was freezing rain - talk about pucker factor!

Luckily going to Jay does not require that as part of their trip!


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Smellytele

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Roxbury Gap can be sketchy! Went over it to get to Sugarbush and there was freezing rain - talk about pucker factor!

Luckily going to Jay does not require that as part of their trip!


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spring time (mud season) over Roxbury can be impossible, i went over this passed season and it had 2 foot deep ruts that you had to stay on top of. Did it in my wife's CR-V. Was quite scary.
 

Zand

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Roxbury Gap can be sketchy! Went over it to get to Sugarbush and there was freezing rain - talk about pucker factor!

Luckily going to Jay does not require that as part of their trip!


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While Sheffield Heights on I-91 is nothing like Roxbury Gap and it's true mountain dirt road, that stretch of I-91 is probably the least traveled section of interstate this side of Wyoming and VTDOT treats it as such. It can go days after a snowstorm before the travel lane is totally cleared of snow and ice, and forget the passing lane. You probably won't see it until spring unless it melts off naturally. Not to mention the temperature often changes 10-15 degrees from one side to the other so conditions can change rapidly. Passing trucks (that were doing 10 mph in the travel lane) by going 20 mph in the passing lane because it was a sheet of ice covered by 6" of snow is a common practice up there.

As a LSC student, Newport/Derby almost felt like another world away thanks to Sheffield Heights, while Littleton NH (which really isn't all that much closer and the section of I-93 through Waterford can be quite sketchy too) was the go to place for shopping and restaurants.
 

VTKilarney

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Schilling Beer Company is a great choice if you decide to stop in Littleton, NH. It's family friendly.
 

MG Skier

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Ahh, the Jay Ride....... I only did it once last season through a nasty storm February 7th. It was 100% worth the ride, and yes I-91 can get sketchy and you never know what you will get especially in that high elevation area. Keep it slow, stay in the lane with the least amount of snow if you don't have much snow driving experience. I would say that Franconia Notch is always interesting as well......weather changes fast and I ended up sideways on a flash freeze about 5 years ago....fortunately I saved it from a guardrail pinball incident!

If I am low on caffeine, it is Dunks in Tilton, if I can hold out Littleton Dunks. (Not too crazy when I leave work at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon). I recycle my coffee at the rest stop on the I-93 rest stop on the NH/VT border.

I typically stay off resort in peak season. Either B+B or ski buddy's rental. However, the trek up the mountain past the JVI and Jay Store can be tricky indeed. Two years ago, I was behind 2 coach buses that couldn't make the ascent in the usually tricky spot. I have a tall pickup (Ironically bottomed out leaving Jay Parking lot on the Feb 7, 2020 adventure) but traction wasn't an issue. Tire chains or studded tires are generally a good thing for cars without extra ground clearance or as previously mentioned you are waiting to get in behind the plow.

I am usually good for 6-10 days at Jay, I only had 3 but it was 3 I will not forget any time soon!

Lastly, If the weather is descent I try to meet up with ski buddies at the JVI, adds a little incentive to keep on moving and less coffee!

My buddy told me that there are days when it snows and he doesn't get plowed out or travel up to base is just too treacherous. Lets face it when it snows, it really snows up there in the NEK.

Say hello to Jay for me! I hope to get up there at some point.
 

dlague

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While Sheffield Heights on I-91 is nothing like Roxbury Gap and it's true mountain dirt road, that stretch of I-91 is probably the least traveled section of interstate this side of Wyoming and VTDOT treats it as such. It can go days after a snowstorm before the travel lane is totally cleared of snow and ice, and forget the passing lane. You probably won't see it until spring unless it melts off naturally. Not to mention the temperature often changes 10-15 degrees from one side to the other so conditions can change rapidly. Passing trucks (that were doing 10 mph in the travel lane) by going 20 mph in the passing lane because it was a sheet of ice covered by 6" of snow is a common practice up there.

As a LSC student, Newport/Derby almost felt like another world away thanks to Sheffield Heights, while Littleton NH (which really isn't all that much closer and the section of I-93 through Waterford can be quite sketchy too) was the go to place for shopping and restaurants.

I get it since I commutes the same stretch to go to LSC!


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nhskier1969

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We've decided to gamble and get a rental at Jay peak this year.
We're driving up from boston with 12 and 16r old teen boys. Thankfully iPads will keep them amused :)

Any advice on where to stop to break up the Friday evening journey? I assume some of you are regulars doing this trip and have refined it to perfection.

Any tips ideas for the resort, the drive up, or food along way or near resort!


Cheers and here's hope for Snow and a covid-free (ish) winter


I think it's a good gamble. Granted they probably won't have the Tram running, its a small tram compared to Cannons. So you will only have the Freezer out of the base. But there biggest crowds come from Canada, so if the border closings continue Jay should be pretty empty.

As for Places to stop, once you get past Littleton there isn't much. There is a Hampton in Littleton but its still an hour twenty away.
 
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