*My difficulty rating is based on the hike's difficulty relative to that of hikes to the summit of the other Adirondack 46er Peaks. For hikers not used to large elevation gains a greater difficulty level should be assumed.
Macomb, South Dix and East Dix along with Hough and Dix make up the Dix Range located in the South East corner of the Adirondacks High Peaks region. Of these five peaks only Dix has an official trail to its summit, the trails on the other four are all herd paths. The herd paths though not officially maintained are in fairly good shape and easy enough to follow. Because of its relative remoteness the peaks of this range and especially the three peaks described below, see fewer hikers than the heart of the High Peaks region. If you’re seeking a challenge, solitude, and wonderful scenery then this is a great choice for a day hike.
The first section of trail is over private land and is nothing more than a pleasant stroll through the woods with the occasional glimpse of Elk Lake. Follow the red trail markers until Slide Brook located 3.7 km from the trailhead. After crossing the brook look for the rock cairn on the right side of the trail, this indicates the start of the herd path to Macomb. If you see a lean-to on the left you’ve gone too far and have missed the turn off. The herd path follows Slide brook East towards Macomb’s slide. The start of the slide is roughly 1.5 km from the rock cairn. The slide is relatively steep and does not offer the best footing, but it is an enjoyable scramble. At the top of the slide follow one of the two trails to the summit ridge, they’ll both get you there so choose which ever makes you happiest. Once you’ve gained the ridge the summit is not far. Although the summit of Macomb is treed there are some rock out crops which offer good views to the West and of Dix, great views are also had from any point on your ascent of the slide, just turn around and take it in. It takes on average 3 ½ hours to reach Macomb’s summit. To reach South Dix follow the herd path North East. Unfortunately, to reach S. Dix you lose 200 m of that hard earned elevation, though it is an easy enough venture. Near the summit of South Dix you’ll emerge from the trees onto incredible open rocks for the last 30 to 50 m. Expect to take roughly 1 hour to reach the summit. Just before the summit is the junction with the herd path to Hough. To reach East Dix the trail follows the ridge North East. It is a mostly a forested walk though there is an opening on the summit offering great views of the entire Dix Range and to the South. If you’re looking for the summit marker it is nailed into the side of a large boulder. Expect to take 1 hour to reach East Dix. To return to the trailhead just go back the way you came, yes that does mean climbing back up over South Dix and Macomb, but you’ve just climbed 3 of the 46ers so you should be ecstatic.
Take Interstate 87 to exit 29. Turn right onto Blue Ridge road and follow for roughly 7 km. Turn right onto Elk Lake road, you should see a sign for Elk Lake Lodge, the parking lot is about 8 km down this road.
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