My first hike after I moved to New Hampshire was to the fabled Mascot Mine, generically known around Gorham as the "Lead Mine." I followed the Carter family, Anne, Kevin & Jill, experienced hikers who knew the way. The trail starts near the lower power station, the beginning of the Mahoosuc Trail, and goes straight at the first intersection, .4 miles in where the Mahoosuc veers to the left.
We packed a lunch and enjoyed the beauty of Mascot Pond—from which the mine got its name—while we ate. By the time we left, the sky was dappled with white, puffy clouds, ushering in the final act of a beautiful afternoon in New Hampshire.
The Mascot Mining Company, organized in 1881, first worked the deposit. This site in the Leadmine State Forest is owned by the State of New Hampshire. Collecting minerals from the dumps is allowed using hand tools, but entry into the mine itself is prevented as the entrance to the mine is gated. Although lead and zinc were the primary metals mined, silver was also mined in secondary quantities. The Mascot Lead Zinc Mine was closed with no plan to re-open when production output was considered to be too small.