Cadillac Summit Loop

Acadia National Park, Maine 04646

Elevation Gain1ft
Trailhead Elevation1,508ft
Elevation Min/Max1508/1510ft
Elevation Start/End1508/1508ft

Cadillac Summit Loop

Cadillac Summit Loop is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Hancock County, Maine. It is within Acadia National Park. It is 0.6 miles long and begins at 1,508 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.0 miles with a total elevation gain of one foot. Cadillac Mountain (elevation 1,512 feet) and the Cadillac Mountain survey point are near the trailhead. There are also parkings and restrooms. This trail connects with the following: Cadillac-Dorr Connector.

Cadillac Summit Loop Professional Reviews and Guides

"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."

"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."

"Cadillac Mountain is the highest on Mount Desert Island. This hike climbs the South Ridge past several waterfalls. The summit of Cadillac Mountain can be reached by car, so expect crowds in the summer. This route avoids the crowded trails and takes in a lot of the mountain’s highights."

"The highest point on America’s Atlantic coastline, Cadillac Mountain is a must-visit destination. While there are many options to consider, this one combines the best of what the mountain offers, including: a long, exposed scenic ridgeline; a deep, glacier-carved gorge; small cascades; and an occasional scramble up Acadia National Park’s famous granite slopes. While not easy, together these features can be enjoyed along a 5-mile loop appropriate for healthy hikers of all ages."

"This rugged climb, once known as the Steep Trail, can be treacherous, especially when wet, because it doesn’t have the man-made handholds and footholds that distinguish other Acadia cliff side routes. It’s the shortest but steepest route up Cadillac and begins by rising swiftly from Bubble Pond.

The loop described here provides a gentler descent, down Cadillac’s south ridge, to a little-used part of the Canon Brook Trail and back to Bubble Pond on a carriage road."

"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."

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

"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."

"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."

"A relatively long hike over open ledges to the summit of Mount Desert Island’s highest mountain. There are great views during most of this hike. Although this hike is not a loop, the south ridge of Cadillac Mountain, with its open forest of pitch and jack pine, is worth experiencing twice in the same day.

This hike starts on Maine Route 3 near the entrance to Blackwoods Campground and makes a moderate, enjoyable climb to Cadillac’s busy summit over a leisurely 3.5 miles. While the summit may not be the wildest spot in the park, with its gift shop and parking lot full of tourists, the south ridge of Cadillac is relatively quiet and full of excellent views."

"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."

Cadillac Summit Loop Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon6 Total
I loved this trail. It was a equal amount of challenge and fun. The view was great. From every elevation on the trail had a memory to be gain. If you go to Cadillac Mt. this is the trail to go on.
Great Hike. Great views. Need to be in good shape and have good hiking shoes/boots. Much better than driving up!
Good hike for a family with kids as long as they are OK with the distance. I did this in a misting rain and clouds so I didn't get the view but the wild blueberries and rasberries made up for it. Gradual incline in mostly open terrain that went relatively quickly. One of the easier hikes up Cadillac.
One of my favorites. Don't take little kids or anyone who might sketch on dicey terrain. Some spots would rate low-end class 5.X climbing. Other spots are exposed enough, that in the event of a fall, might be fatal. I did it solo and my family drove the Cadillac Road and met me on top. If you like physical challenges, do this trail and leave the kids at home.
Not really a hike but a climb....on all fours half of the time....not very scenic due to the large trees around you.
Got engaged at a sunrise here, Acadia is very beautiful and Bar Harbor is a cool little town if you can get around all the people. Drink Bar Harbor Brewings Thunder Hole Brown Ale!!

Cadillac Summit Loop Photos

Help others discover amazing sights!

Trail Information

Acadia National Park
Nearby City
Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park (; 207-288-3338)
Local Contacts
USGS Southwest Harbor; Maine Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 16 (DeLorme); AMC Acadia National Park Discovery Map; AMC Maine Mountain Guide, Map 5: Eastern Mount Desert Island
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018