Monday, July 30, 2012

Hiking Lead Mountain

In Washington County, Maine a few miles off Rt. 9, quietly sits Lead Mountain. For the few of us in the know, this small mountain makes for an enjoyable hike. Over the 4th of July holiday, it was climbed by several of my family members. The group consisted of my 63 year old Dad and kids 4, 5 and 6 years old. Only the 4 year old had to be carried a couple times on the ascent and descent . . . thankfully, we didn't have to carry the 63 year old even once.

Those interested in exploring this small 1,479 ft. monolith, the directions are relatively simple. Driving from Bangor toward Calais you will pass the Airline snack bar on your left and Rt. 193 shortly after on your right. Drive (approximately 1 mile) turn left onto the 3000 road at the Ranger Station. If you cross the bridge over the Narraguagus River, you will want to turn around. In about 150 yards, turn left . . . accidentally following the road straight will take you up the 3000 road into great partridge hunting territory but not to Lead Mt. Simply follow this dirt road to the end and you will see a small parking area.

The first thing you will encounter, is a gate and a large sign that says “No Hunting” and some idiotic verbiage indicating that the university owners don’t want any Rednecks accidentally shooting research scientists. Follow this road until it splits and take the path to the right. This ATV trail was heavily worked on in the last few years and leads a majority of the way to the summit.

After about 1 hour of “kid pace” hiking and time to play with the 100s (I am not exaggerating) of toads that could be found along the hiking path you will reach the original summit weather monitoring equipment and several small shacks. The path to the summit now changes in difficulty and stretches up for about another 30 minutes of slow hiking. You will certainly know you have reached the top, as you will be staring face to face with a titanic cell tower and an auditory barraged by the buzzing of the electronics necessary to keep the equipment functioning. Unfortunately, there are no sweeping views from this location and many hikers will miss out if they do not explore the area straight back on the left hand side of the gated area.

You will note a small path thorough the tightly growing spruce trees. Squeeze thorough this small area and the path opens up to a rock face with a small tower you can easily climb that will allow you to see over the surrounding trees and out onto the impressive view below. Directly behind the tower, hanging on the backside of one of the thick spruce trees is an ammo can size geocache. When we looked, the cache had only been checked a handful of times since it was originally created, so this is definitely a very cool cache to get a chance to check off your list!

Lead Mountain Geocache details:


  1. The old man taking a break is a good thing..sounds like a hike I would like..any fishing spots on the way?

    1. Yes, it is a very nice and mellow hike. No fishing spots but good views if you are willing to climb the tower of death! :)


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