The park was opened in 2005 and involves a one mile walking trail around and through an old orchard, as well as a well marked hiking and interpretive trail leading from the northeastern corner of the orchard and leading to amazing lookouts north over the quarry. Near the parking area there is a small kiosk where visitors can find information about the park before crossing a small wooden bridge into the orchards.
The orchard is a legacy of the agricultural heritage of the region, and old farm implements and tools have been placed throughout the orchard. The park, however, is named for the nearby white granite quarries of North Jay. Granite quarrying was one of the first industries in the Jay area. In 1912 the Maine & New Hampshire Granite Company made one million paving blocks a year from these quarries, employing 318 men—mostly Italian immigrants. This white granite was in high demand and was used to build the Portland, Maine Post Office and several monuments in Washington D.C. A small loop at the northern end of the orchard allows you to glimpse this rich history by taking you by a small quarry pit where you can see large granite blocks and paving stones. Another extension trail on the North West corner of the park follows an old road and brings you closer to the large quarry pits.
The park is very family-friendly, not only because of the easy hiking, but also because of three separate picnic areas of the park, all with waste bins. The largest of the picnic areas near the back (north side) of the Orchard offers great views to the south. Benches and chairs can also be found along the sides of the trails.
The North Jay White Granite Park is free, although donations are accepted at an iron box near the parking area. Future plans for the park include expanding the trail system and adding a museum highlighting the important historical connections of the park.
Visit the North Jay White Granite Park online for more information or contact:North Jay White Granite Park
From the intersection of ME Routes 4 and 17 in Jay, proceed onto Old Jay Hill Road. Drive about one mile and turn left onto Woodman Hill Road. The trailhead and parking area is at the top of the hill on the left.
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