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Hiking # 4 MountainBack to Hiking
Hiking Map of # Four Montain Although not the tallest around - at 2,890 feet it is dwarfed by nearby Lily Bay (3,228) and Baker (3,520). Number 4 Mountain offers a difficult hike up it's steep trail to grand views of the North Woods. Even the drive to the mountain is rewarding; on the way you'll most certainly see moose, deer and other assorted creatures. The road passes next to several clearings from which you can see Number 4, Lily Bay and Baker, all of which are often referred to as the Lily Bay Mountains. The 48 foot fire tower atop Number 4, constructed in 1925 and then deactivated in 1964, is still standing and can also be seen poking above the forest.
Getting there: From Greenville, drive 17 miles north on the Lily Bay Road. Look for a wide dirt road on the right marked by a row of mail-boxes. This is the Frenchtown Road. From here travel 2.3 miles and take a right, then drive another 1.4 miles and take a left. There will be a sign post here pointing the way to Number 4, and another sign marking the trail head 1 mile ahead on the opposite side of a bridge. While there is no designated parking area, most hikers usually park in the clearing before the bridge.
The trail: While the trail is not blazed it is wide, well-maintained and easy to follow. It starts out on even terrain, crossing a few small streams. After a quarter mile there is an old sign - so old it predates all the clearcuts in the area through which the original Number 4 trail once laid - that reads: Number 4 crest 2 miles. Follow the trail by turning right. On your left is Logan Brook, which meanders towards First Roach Pond. Walk a bit further and on your left is where the fire wardens cabin once stood. Only rusted bedframes remain.
From there it is all uphill. It rises not too steep at first and travels beneath the canopy of a hardwood forest. Once the forest becomes a mix of fir and birch the trail becomes narrow and much steeper, traveling over loose, moss-covered rocks as it winds its way towards the top. There is some orange flaging tape here to help the hiker stay on the right path, as there are what look to be side trails but they were only carved by moose and go nowhere. Soon the trail arrives at a scenic lookout of First Roach Pond with the grand horizontal monolith known as Big Spencer and its smaller sister Little Spencer dominating the background. Snuggled in the western corner of First Roach you can see the Lilliputian township Kokadjo (ko-kahd-joe). On your way home a recommended sight is the road sign near the town which reads: KEEP MAINE GREEN - THIS IS GOD'S COUNTRY. WHY SET IT ON FIRE AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE HELL?
However, the 3 hour hike isn't over yet. The trail continues the final gradual third of a mile to the abandoned fire tower. The cab has long since blown away, yet the steel ladder is in good shape and by climbing it you'll see Mount Katahdin and Chesuncook Lake in the northeast, Jo-Mary in the east and Shaw Mountain at the foot of First Roach. Yet even without ascending the ladder you can take in the impressive sights of nearby Lily Bay Mountain and Moosehead Lake with Big Squaw taking up the horizon. Look for a side trail behind the tower which leads to another lookout with views of the summit of Baker in the south and White Cap, Hay, West Peak and Gulf Hagas Mountains in the east.
The sign at the bottom of the mountain which directs you to the top of Number 4 also reads: Lily Bay Mountain trail - incomplete. Where was this trail is/was remains a mystery as clear-cuts have erased it. Two different, well-researched books detailing fire tower lookouts in Maine speak of a 40 foot steel tower being placed on Lily Bay Mountain in 1919 - maybe. No one I have spoken to in the Moosehead Lake Region is able to remember it, however. Nor is there a map revealing its location. It seems as though only a trip to the summit can provide the answers. If you're brave, armed with a trusty compass and a good supply of flagging tape to find your way back down, you may wish to solve this mystery.Back to top
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