Cadillac North Ridge Trail

Acadia National Park, Maine

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Cadillac North Ridge Trail is a hiking trail in Hancock County, Maine. It is within Acadia National Park. It is 2.1 miles long and begins at 392 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,256 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. Great Pond Hill (elevation 633 feet) can be seen along the trail.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Cadillac North Ridge Trail is a hiking trail in Hancock County, Maine. It is within Acadia National Park. It is 2.1 miles long and begins at 392 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,256 feet. Near the trailhead there is parking. Great Pond Hill (elevation 633 feet) can be seen along the trail.
Activity Type: Hiking, Snowshoeing, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Acadia National Park
Distance: 2.1
Elevation Gain: 1,256 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 392 feet
Top Elevation: 1,502 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Cadillac North Ridge Trail
Parks: Acadia National Park
Elevation Min/Max: 392/1502 ft
Elevation Start/End: 392/392 ft
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Hiking Acadia National Park

Hiking Acadia National Park

The open north ridge of Cadillac Mountain provides expansive views of Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor, and the Porcupine Islands. In season, naturalists and volunteers help spot migrating raptors at perhaps the prettiest hawk-watching site in North America. Cadillac North Ridge Trail follows old Native American footpaths and nears the route of a former buckboard road up spectacular 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Atlantic coast.

Like many of the ridge trails in Acadia, this one traverses exposed granite ledges much of the way, offering grand scenery. Here the views include Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay, Schoodic Peninsula, and a series of distinctive rocky islands, beginning with Bar Island and extending into the bay with the Porcupines.

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Best Hikes with Kids: Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine

Best Hikes with Kids: Vermont, New Hampshire & Maine

No monotonous woods-walking for the kids on this hike! Dramatic views over Bar Harbor will demand everyone’s attention as you follow the North Ridge Trail on its gradual climb up Cadillac’s nearly barren northern side. At the summit, the splendid 360-degree view of the island is a real-life version of the view you had at the visitor center when you examined the expansive relief map.

Because an auto road also travels to the top, the summit is geared to tourists (in season), with a gift shop and restrooms. Take on Mount Desert’s highest peak after lunch, with the sun over your shoulder, to maximize the view across Bar Harbor to the Atlantic. Or visit as the sun rises: Cadillac Mountain is said to be the first place on the eastern seaboard to greet the morning sun between October 6 and March 7.

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Snowshoe Routes: New England

Snowshoe Routes: New England

To outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate mountain-to-sea scenery and solitude, a winter visit to Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park, is hard to beat. The snow doesn’t always last long on this windy seacoast, but hit it right and you’ll find paradise. The scenic carriage roads that wind through park woodlands and mountains will be carpeted in layers of snow; 45 miles are open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Another 41 miles of unplowed park roads lead to backcountry lakes and ponds, and mountaintop vistas. Winter hikers have even more choices; there are 120 miles of trails, ranging from flat oceanside walks to more adventurous mountain and cliff climbs. In summer, you’re likely to follow a line of bikers cruising carriage paths or hikers walking the more popular trails. Come winter, you’ll have them all to yourself. “I’m feeling like royalty," our traveling companion remarked one afternoon, as we gazed out at mountains and sea. And with a sweep of his arm, “We have all this to ourselves!" The North Ridge Trail up Cadillac Mountain and the descent down a dramatic, narrow gorge is one of our all-time favorite hikes.

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Hiking through History New England

Hiking through History New England

Start this view-heavy hike at historic Sieur de Monts Spring. Visit the Abbe Museum of American Antiquities, then hike century-old paths to Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park’s high point.

En route, pass The Tarn, then climb the Ladder Trail. Surmount the open slopes of Dorr Mountain, named for the man who helped the park come to be. Make a final push for Cadillac Mountain, where vistas of the adjacent hills, Atlantic Ocean, and the isles of Maine make this a classic New England hike.

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Hiking Acadia National Park

Hiking Acadia National Park

Located at the top of Acadia’s highest mountain, this short and easy trail offers maybe the best views in the park and plaques that identify more than forty islands, peaks, and other key points off its slopes.

On a sunny day this loop is the best place for any hiker to get some bearings before exploring the rest of Acadia. The trail is often busy during peak summer months, since cars and buses can drive up the summit road.

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Best Easy Day Hikes: Acadia National Park

Best Easy Day Hikes: Acadia National Park

Located at the top of Acadia’s highest mountain, this short and easy trail offers maybe the best views in the park and plaques that identify more than forty islands, peaks, and other key points that lie off its slopes.

On a sunny day this loop is the best place for any hiker to get some bearings before exploring the rest of Acadia. The trail is often busy during peak summer months, since cars and buses can drive up the mountain’s access road.

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AMC's Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast

AMC's Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast

Make a spectacular north–south traverse of Acadia National Park’s
highest summit with nearly continuous ocean and mountain views
in all directions.

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Recent Trail Reviews

8/12/2005
0

We hiked this trail for the sunrise (first spot in the US to see the sun) and it was beautiful! The TH parking is on the Park Loop road, take the turn towards Sand Beach. We only encountered 2 other hikers but then again we started the hike at 4am. Before reaching the summit and the masses of people that choose to drive up are plenty of good spots to stop, pull out a blanket and some breakfast as the sky turns from black, to orange, to red to a concentrated fireball rising over the water. Bring a headlamp...it's so worth it, scenic views start about a mile in and last the rest of the way up. Coming down is just as beautiful and full of new vistas that were hidden in the dark before.



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May 2018