Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail Loop

HARD 160 reviews
#4 of 133 trails in

Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail Loop is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2247 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

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. The South Ridge Trail is a gradual climb, but it has the advantage of not coming close to the Cadillac Summit Road until the end. The trail briefly descends to a small pond called The Featherbed, where there is a wooden bench for taking a break and enjoying the pond.

6 days ago

My first hike!!! Amazing trail with breathtaking views. Wife and I had great fun.

hiking
25 days ago

A good, but not great, hike. Good workout, but the overall views are better on other hikes like Bubble Rock or Pemetic Mountain or Beehive. An enjoyable day, but if you only have a couple days days in Acadia, I would recommend Beehive and the other hikes, and just drive up to the top of Cadillac for the view.

hiking
3 months ago

Made it back to the South Ridge early January for a sunrise visit to Cadillac -- easily continues to be one of the most beautiful, and one of my favorite, trails of all time. Based more-so on length than elevation gain (although there is still a fair amount!), I agree with the difficulty rating of hard. Do not attempt this trail in the winter unless you have proper winter and ice gear -- much of the the trail was completely coated over in ice and snow, and a lot of caution is necessary, particularly on the way down. It was also very cold and on the ridge, you are exposed to the elements. If you are prepared, though, then you're sure to have an incredible experience with some of Maine's finest scenery.

If a sunrise hike is in your plans for any season, be sure to have a headlamp or good flashlight. There are cairns and blazes along the ridge, but depending on the conditions you're in, they may be tough to see (if clear though, then easy to follow for the most part). Take your time and don't go off trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Cadillac is a favorite spot of mine and I finally climbed it this year. I chose south ridge up and back to my parking spot. I wouldn’t say it’s a very difficult hike, a lot of the trail is above the tree line to exposed rocked and for the most part a small incline the whole way up. But it is long. Pack water and snacks, make a day of it and enjoy some time at the top before descending and if it’s sunny wear a hat or sunscreen! Cadillac mountain is a must see in acadia but hiking up it definitely a must do!

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked on May 14, 1994.

5 months ago

The A. Murray Young Path is a tough path involving boulder hiking and at times, mild climbing.. the more direct path to the mountain is well signposted and relatively straight forward. Great views at the top.

hiking
6 months ago

Parked right at the trailhead at 4:45am, first car there and didn't see anyone on the trail until we got towards the top. We decided to stop before we got to the top to avoid the crowds and take in the sunrise alone. Not a soul in sight if you stay a little ways below the top and essentially the same view. Take a headlamp, wear sturdy shoes, but it's a pretty mellow hike up. We took the west side down after the ascent.

hiking
6 months ago

Was a great easy trail up. Unfortunately there are a lot of tour buses and people at the top but they stay there. Nice views on a clear day.

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing but difficult. Definitely assess how you feel at the summit because the following loop has you descend and ascend almost the entire mountain again

hiking
7 months ago

I started this trail at The Blackwoods Campground. I made it to the summit in around two hours with a few breaks along the way to take in the scenic views. It took around an hour and half to come back. I wouldn't consider this a technically difficult trail, but definitely takes some endurance.

hiking
7 months ago

Great challenge, go counterclockwise on the loop to save the big views until the end. Cheater parking available at the top.

8 months ago

I am heading up there in a few weeks. I will be going solo. Anyone going up there around that time please reach out to me at ramblers_guide on instagram

8 months ago

Did this at night to make it to summit for the sunrise. The Milky Way was amazing and the hike was too. Definitely do it!!!!

hiking
8 months ago

This is a beautiful hike on a trail in excellent condition. We hiked out and back to the summit and ended up covering seven miles with ~1300 feet of climbing.

8 months ago

Nice view s and lots rocks

8 months ago

My favorite way up Cadillac is via the South Ridge because of the exposed boulders and sheer, cliffs!

hiking
9 months ago

Great views. A decent out and back hike. Lots of places for scenic looks. Not for those out of shape but also a safe hike as long as you have endurance. Well worth the effort!

hiking
9 months ago

Very nice hike with beautiful views. Enjoyed the hike immensely!

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike with wonderful views all along the way. Perfect granite topped peaks that open up most of the way.

hiking
9 months ago

Long but exciting hike with different varying views and multiple mini summits with the view of the bar harbor.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing trail! Very challenging and fun. I do not recommend this LOOP for someone that is not a regularly active person. Be careful with all the boulders on the way down and cool down with the icy cold water stream. Have fun!

hiking
9 months ago

Great scenery throughout the hike, loved the views from all directions.

9 months ago

This was a great trail but definitely invokes rock climbing in a few places and you should make sure you are hydrated. Great work out. When you reach the summit at top, there is a store and place to refill water. It took me and my teenage daughter's approximately 2.5 hours up and 1:45 down. The views were spectacular ! Highly recommended!

9 months ago

Great trail. The loop, which is off the Cadillac South trail, is the best section (hardest). Scramble up and over (or down) rocks and a waterfall. Good views from Cadillac trail.

hiking
9 months ago

I was pretty underwhelmed by this hike overall. It was not particularly challenging (despite the "hard" rating) and we made it to the top in about an hour. The views were beautiful along the way, but because the top is accessible by car, too, it was almost a let down to get up to the top and be surrounded by (literally!) hundreds of people. We saw people of all ages (from 3 to well over 80) doing this hike, so very family friendly, and lots of dogs. Not a bad hike by any stretch of the imagination, but perhaps not a 5-star hard hike either.

10 months ago

We started at Blackwoods campground and hiked straight up. Challenging both ways. The views are amazing. Go on a day your legs are feeling strong.

hiking
10 months ago

We added Mt Dorr, the Ladder Trail and Canon Brook to the Cadillac South Ridge walk and it's my new favorite in the park. If it's dry and you have time, definitely do this combination!!

10 months ago

Other worldly- blew our ankles out!

hiking
10 months ago

Made me fall in love with this place, especially on the way down

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