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Guinness
02-01-2005, 09:55 AM
On February 25-27 Iím heading off to visit the 5-pack in the Dixs. I have only done these from the Elk Lake approach in both summer and winter, and I am looking for suggestions on other approaches such as from the Northway. I do not mind the road walk in and setup a camp near the lean-to or campsites by Slide Brook. However, this trip will be different for me since it will be for the winter 46 completion :D and I am hoping to have some company :) .

lumberzac
02-01-2005, 10:24 AM
It is my understanding that the state doesnít want anyone accessing the Dix Range from the High Peaks Rest Area and will ticket you if caught doing so. If you want to do something different I would suggest going in Route 73.

TCD
02-01-2005, 10:29 AM
ADK,

Coomonly used approaches to the Dixes include:

Elk Lake, with which you are familiar.

The Round Pond Dix trail from the North on Route 73. This is a nice approach, shorter in Winter because there's no road issue (they're about equal in Summer. Lot of camping ops. Great camping only 0.5 miles in at Round Pond, plus the Boquet Leanto is about 4 miles in. (You can also approach this area from the Ausable Club parking, via the trail that runs between Noonmark and Round, but it's more climbing that way.)

The "Hunter's Herd Path" leaves Route 73 at the bridge where the N Fork of the Boquet crosses the road. This is a great approach if you want to start with East Dix. There are numerous excellent camping areas on this approach. If you decide to go that way and need more details, there's a lot more info available.

Less commonly used approaches are West Mill Brook and Lindsey Brook, both of which feature culvert crossings of the Northway. West Mill is good if you want to start with East, South, or McComb. Lindsey is good if you want to start with East. Also great camping on those approaches, but there are fewer people, so you might be breaking more trail. More detail is available on those as well.

Walker Brook, which also features a Northway culvert, is not really practical for approaching the Dixes.

The other ways I've hooked into the Dix trail system is by bushwacking down from the Bear Den-Dial-Nippletop ridge. If you start at the Ausable Club, it's a pretty easy bushwack down Gravestone Brook to the Dix trail (although it would really be going out of your way for no reason). I've also bushwacked down from near the summit of Nippletop. It was downhill, but exceedingly thick, and would be a bad idea in the Winter.

Have fun!

TCD

TCD
02-01-2005, 10:35 AM
Lumberzac,

You are correct, good point. The DEC posted a warning about that on VFTT last year, because it had become a common practice of hikers to park at the rest area and walk along the highway to West Mill Brook.

It's not that hard to use the Guidebook's described approach to West Mill from Route 9, and that's what people should do. (In fact, in the Summer, it easy and legal to drive all the way to the gate well past the Northway. The ford has been greatly improved by the logging operation in there, and except during spring runoff, you can ford the brook with a passenger car. In the Winter, if you had a snowmobile, it would again be easy and legal to go to the gate before you started walking. So parking at the rest area doesn't really save you any time anyway...).

TCD

Michael M
02-01-2005, 11:09 AM
Lumberzac

We left from the rest station, did Macomb, South Dix, (you could move on to East Dix, and then back to South Dix, then over the Hough to a col good for a bivy. Then up and over Dix and back to route 73. I think we could have done this in one long day with headlamps but I recommend the planning one night out.

Getting back to our car at the rest stop was the only scary part. We hitch hiked and got pickup by a hard pipe hitting ganga man in a pickup truck. He offered his wares to us and I inquired about his fear of 5-0 he looked at me, and I prompted well "one would probably have to eat the pot . . . right?" he replied, "The pot is this truck would take months to eat !!!"

As we turn on to the Northway their were 5 State trooper cars and a road block!!


Enjoy your finish this was one of my most memorable trips

Michael
:)