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Cadillac Mountain North Ridge and Gorge Path Loop

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Acadia National Park

Cadillac Mountain North Ridge and Gorge Path Loop is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and nature trips.

Length 4.8 mi Elevation gain 1,315 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Running

Forest

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

Rocky

Scramble

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (41)
Photos (976)
Recordings (25)
Completed (284)
Elizabeth Roche
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HikingGreat!

Our favorite hike in Acadia so far! Absolutely fabulous!! We (2 50-something adults, one 20y/o and one 17y/o) finished this trail at about noon today - it took us 4.5 hours end to end but we took coffee, water and breakfast breaks. Based on the advice of others, we parked at the based of the north ridge path, so our car would be there for us when we came down - definitely a good tip! Then we walked about 10 minutes down the road (there is a small path to the side of the road for a good portion of the way) to the start of gorge path. The hike through the forest was wonderful - a shady, quiet, deep woods experience. This part is a moderate hike - like climbing a really long staircase, but once you are out of the gorge the last .4 miles is where it gets tougher. Still it was doable. Just one or two places where I (the least-fit family member) struggled, but I managed just fine. I wouldn't recommend trying the gorge path with a dog. Views at the top were stunning!! WOW!!! We came down the North Ridge. It's strenuous but entirely doable with wonderful views for most of the way down.

Lauren Pier
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HikingGreat!
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Nate Colpitts
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Hiking

We ended up going up the gorge trail and down the ridge trail... and I'd do it again in a heart beat. The gorge trail has some pretty steep elevation and I personally wouldn't recommend smaller kids to do this trail. The view at the top is amazing.

Mike B.
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Hiking

We did the North Ridge Trail up and the Gorge Path down. The Gorge Path is quite a climb up or down but is one of the most exquisite trails in the park!

Mark OBrien
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Hiking

Beautiful and a hell of a workout. Take Gorge up and North down! Makes ALL the difference!!!

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Sarah Morin
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Hiking

Gorge trail and north ridge trail loop. Foggy on top.

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Jennifer Summerfield
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HikingGreat!

We parked at the trailhead for Gorge trail (wanted to park at end of North Ridge trail, but area was already full before sunrise). Gorge trail started fairly flat. Lots of beautiful stepping stones. As you start the hike up the gorge, just amazing scenery all the way up. Many stone stairways. Very doable hike through the gorge. Last 0.4 miles get a bit more steep, with some rock scrambles to get to top of Cadillac. Absolutely amazing views as you look behind you. Once at the top, take a short hike on the South Ridge trail, located behind the visitor center, to locate the mountain geological marker. Once the trail starts to open up, look to your right to find a small mound where the marker is located. We resumed our hike back down the North Ridge trail (definitely recommend up Gorge, down North Ridge if you are doing the full loop). Views going down North Ridge are amazing. You do hike a bit by the auto road. Very easy decent, but a bit more crowded as the day went on. We ended with a short road walk to return to our parking area. Recommend this hike!

View Jennifer's Recording
Hannah Cushman
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Hiking

We linked the Gorge Trail with Cadillac Mountain North Ridge... we loved it!

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Timothy Morris
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HikingRockyScramble

Great trail. Really tested your energy coming down the mountain on a hot day but was great going up with fantastic views!! Highly recommended.

Katelyn Tas
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HikingRockyScramble

what a great sweaty hike! went up gorge trail as down north as suggested and it was perfect for our experience level. definetly steep and hard at some points but would rank this closer to moderate. also it was a little bit more than 5 miles

Jessica Fraser
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HikingRockyScramble

We did this going up Gorge first. We parked at the base of North and walked a half mile to the gorge trailhead. Gorge was beautiful going up. Lots of climbing, but a beautiful forest with lots of pretty water trickles on the way. It was 5:00pm so it was nice and cool and shady up Gorge which was nice. The last bit got steep with more climbing, but it wasn’t too bad. Then, on the way down, we took North. This was definitely the best way to descend as it was a much less steep trail with little to no scrambling down. A gradual descent that brought us right to the parked car! Awesome hike with beautiful views up and down! I’d suggest doing Gorge first, then descend down North for easier hiking.

cynthia young
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HikingBugs

loved this loop!! its beautiful and lots of interesting things to see. acadia never disappoints! very glad I didnt have my dog. it would have been a difficult trail for him, a 2 year old german shepherd. he could have done it but would have been sketchy in parts

Jasmine Pratt
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Hiking

Up the gorge down the north ridge. I would not rate this as hard, it’s more moderate. The gorge is lots of stone steps but very pretty and the north ridge seemed pretty easy going down, but not a lot of views.

Taylor Paige
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Hiking

Amazing hike to see Cadillac! We went up the Gorge Path and down the North Ridge trail and I’d say that’s the best way to do it. You get tons of views going down North Ridge and going up the Gorge is fun and challenging towards the top. It’s a perfect long hike but so rewarding at the top!

Geoffrey D
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Hiking

Fantastic hike. Recommend going up Cadillac and down Gorge, which allows tree cover on the way down and spectacular views from halfway up Cadillac until about 1/3 of the way down Gorge. In addition, the scramble on Gorge seemed easier going down than it would going up. Excellent hike.

Matthew Wein
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HikingRockyScramble

Challenging, but super fun. The scrambles up Cadillac North are steep at first, but the scrambles coming down the first half-mile of the Gorge are even steeper. Nice up-and-down, though, with a beautiful hemlock forest and stream on the back end.

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Victoria Hoover
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Hiking

A TON of views on the way down the North Ridge Path, so start on the Gorge side to get the best parking in a small area so you can climb down the North Ridge to see the views the whole way down! Do not suggest hiking if wet as the Gorge is already wet & much of the North Ridge Trail is slanted bedrock. 100% must if you are visiting Acadia to hike.

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Stacy Buchanan
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Hiking

We ascended via North Ridge and came down Gorge Path. Gradual elevation gain going up and then pretty steep going down the first part of Gorge Path but it finishes with a nice walk through the woods. If you like steep boulder scrambles and step stairs then I would recommend going up Gorge Path instead to get more of a challenge! Also, there is roadside parking at the North Ridge Trailhead, if preferred, just before the Gorge Path parking lot.

dawned 13
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HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

Why did we wait so long to do this hike? It was wonderful, both challenging and rewarding. We hiked up the North Ridge and down Gorge Path, and I think this was a good choice for us. The round trip, with breaks on the trail and lunch at the summit, took 3.75 hours. Much of the ascent offered fantastic views and was open, with some, but limited shade. Gorge Path was pretty much all boulders and granite steps and very shady. We had our dog with us and she did great! We parked in the small lot just past the North Ridge trail head, and it ended up being perfect, as that lot is where the trail ends

Rita & Marcel
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Hiking
First to Review

Combination of Cadillac North Ridge trail (which we used to ascend), and Gorge Path (which we used to descend Cadillac Mountain). Cadillac Mountain North Ridge: offers great scenic view of Acadia and the ocean. More or less no shade whatsoever. Involves some scrambling, but manageable (but trekking poles are helpful). Gorge Path: a good option for descending the mountain since it provides shade. First ~0.4miles of the descend are a very steep scrambling (trekking poles strongly recommended). Afterwards, path descends less steeply, through the woods, and as its name suggests, follows a gorge (nice tiny waterfalls, a creek, etc).

Trisha Roy
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Hiking
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Andrea Belair
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Maya C.
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Hiking
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Anna Bluhm
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Hiking
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