Macomb Mountain stands as twenty-first in order of height in the Adirondacks and is most noted as being the first peak in the excellent Macomb, South and East Dix ridge walk and the most southernly of the major peaks. This, supposedly a good crop of blueberries in August, and its solitude when compaired to other peaks in the park are the only really outstanding points of the mountain.
The view is much the same as East and South Dix with a good view of the Great Range and the lesser peaks to the right of Marcy but you have to battle trees most of the time to get a good look.
Presently the most popular route to the top is to head off from The Elk Lake Trail at the first lean-to/camping site and follow Slide Brook to the base of either one of two slides that leads to points just below the summit ridge.
The preferred route is to go up the New Slide, which is as follows:
Follow the N bank of the brook E for about 0.6 of a mile to where the brook forks. Continue the N side of the Left Fork for about another 0.5 of a mile to the base of a new slide coming down from the right. Head up this slide, which ends at about 0.3 of a mile from the summit ridge. Push up strait to the ridge and the summit should lie about 200 yards to the Right S.
The older route starts the same as the new slide route but switches to the N side of the Right Fork and should reach the old slide after about 0.25 of a mile. After the slide is found simply follow it up the summit ridge and once on the ridge head N to the summit.
Please note that it is now quite hard to find the lower reaches of the slide from the brook, as it is very overgrown. The best suggestion is to take the new slide up and then circle around back down the old slide to the brook.
In fine weather the route is easy to find and traverse, in poor weather or at night it can be very tricky especially if the slides are wet and the wind is blowing. Thus this route does call for good backcountry navigation skills with map and compass.
To reach the Elk Lake trailhead one must leave the Adirondack Motorway (interstate 87) at exit 29 (North Hudson) then go W for 4 miles on Blue Ridge Rd. following the signs for Newcomb. Turn R off Blue Ridge Rd. onto a gravel road marked with a sign for Elk Lake Lodge. At 5.2 miles there is a parking lot on the right just before the road drops down to Elk Lake.
Please remember that this part of the trail is on private land so please be respectful of this. As well this trailhead and all private land around Elk Lake is closed during the Big Game Season i.e. Hunting, Guns, Beer, Elmer Fudd’s running amok in the woods. The season is from the next to last Saturday in October to the first Sunday in December. Usually this is well posted at the parking lot but if unsure check at the clubhouse.
In winter the road is only usually plowed as far as clear pond about 3.3 mile from Blue Ridge Road. It might be possible to park here, never tried myself, this alone adds over 6 miles to your trip making for at least a 9 mile hike before you are allowed to camp.
The frist part of the Trial from Elk Lake is on private land please observe these simple rules
1) No camping, fishing or hunting
2) No off-trail travel including rock climbing or bushwhacking, or use of non public trail
3) No boating or swimming, including portable boats brought by the public
4) NO DOGS or other pets are permitted unless on a leash
The trailhead is closed from the next to last Saturday in October to the first Sunday in December for hunting season.
When To Climb
Any time of year is fine just remeber this is normally a two night hike. One day into a base camp, the next day to climb and then the next day to hike out.
In winter the ski along the ridge line of Macomb, South and East Dix is quite fine but it is quite hard to find a good line up to the top of the ridge.
Except on the private land around Elk Lake as noted in red tape the same apply as for all Adirondack mountians.
1) No Camping above 4,000 feet
2) No camping withing 150 feet of a stream or other water source except at a designated campsite.
3) No soap or washing withing 150 feet of water
4) Pack it in Pack it out is the rule for garbage
5) Only dead and down wood can be used for fires and set in a proper fire pit. ( local etiquette is to use a stove and not a fire)
some good links
Adirondack Hiking Portal
What's in a Name
Macomb honours the memory of Maj. General Alexander Macomb who defeated the Canadian's and British in the Battle of Plattsburgh on Settember 11, 1814.