The 2.1 mile North Ridge provides a shorter hiking route to the summit of Cadillac, compared to the 3.5 miles one way up the South Ridge. Note that the Summit Road also heads up the north ridge of the mountain, and the road is within hearing distance, and in sight of, the trail on occasion. The first half mile and the final half mile of the trail to the summit are located a good distance away from the road.
The trail begins up a moderate ascent through sparse forested areas. It quickly begins to open up, as it climbs more steeply over granite ledges, and through ocassional stunted red pine trees. Once out of the trees, there are views to be had for almost the entirety of the trail along the ridge, to the north and east overlooking Frenchman Bay, the Porcupine and other islands, the Schoodic Peninsula across the Bay, and down to the village of Bar Harbor below.
At 1,530 feet Cadillac Mountain is the tallest mountain on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The true summit is to the left where the South Ridge Trail opens onto the gravel access road. Look for 2 survey benchmarks established by the US Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1856 and the 1954 US Geological Survey summit marker. To the east of the true summit is where one of several summit hotels stood in the 1880s. Please explore the area carefully, staying on the granite and leaving what you find for others to enjoy.
Dogs are allowed on the trail on a six foot leash.
Geocaching is prohibited within Acadia National Park; however, the park does sponsor an EarthCache Program for those seeking a virtual treasure hunt!
Visit Acadia National Park online for more information or contact:
National Park Service, Acadia National Park
From Bar Harbor, head west on ME-233 (Eagle Lake Road). Take the Acadia National Park entrance on the right, just over 1 mile from the village of Bar Harbor. Turn left on the Paradise Hill park road. Go 0.5 miles, and take a left onto the Park Loop Road. Go 0.3 miles to the pull-out on the left, which has spots for parallel parking. The trailhead is across the road, on the right (south) side of the Park Loop.
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