Hiking Lead Mountain and Camping at Second Machias Lake (Washington County)
I wanted to get one more camping trip in while the weather was above freezing so set off after work Friday for the Machias River Public Reserved Land. Given temperature forecasts in the 30's at night I anticipated little competition for the first come first served campsites but was surprised to find a few other hearty (crazy?) souls at the first few campsites.
There is a single campsite on the east side of Second Machias Lake and I was happy to find it unoccupied when I arrived. This is a beautiful lakeside campsite with a fire ring, picnic table and nearby pit toilet (which was surprisingly clean). The mostly flat ground is covered in soft pine needles, making for comfortable tenting. I enjoyed a great sunset followed by star watching under a dark cloudless sky.
In the morning I met up with a friend to hike Lead Mountain. At 1479 feet it isn't particularly tall, but given that the land around it is mostly flat it dominates the landscape. The hike up Lead Mountain was steep and rocky but easy to follow. The trail is essentially a cell tower access road. The summit of Lead Mountain was forested and offered no views but it was a good hike and workout. Our roundtrip distance was 2.2 miles. Here is a map of our hike.