Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail Loop

HARD 321 reviews
#5 of 172 trails in

Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail Loop is a 7.5 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 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: 2,247 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

trail running

forest

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

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 two 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.

hiking
2 days ago

Awesome trail. Will kick your butt but well worth it. Take the detour to eagle crag, awesome lookout. Views along the ridgeline the whole way. The last uphill coming back up to dike mountain was killer

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike. I'd suggest bringing plenty of water as after the first mile, there's practically zero shade the rest of the way.

hiking
muddy
rocky
13 days ago

First of all, the trailhead is not clearly sign-posted like other popular trails in the area. The best way to find it is to park along the road opposite the entry road to the Blackwoods campground which is clearly sign-posted. Google maps also takes you to it fairly accurately, provided you have network. It's a bit further south from the Blackwoods entrance and you can spot it fairly easily. I did this trail in late June and took three and half hours at a comfortable pace to complete it. This included a ten min rest at the summit. I would rate this trail moderate not too hard at all. However, with bad weather this trail could be challenging so carry lots of water and something to munch. It has a lot of tree roots in the first section which can be annoying as well as a slip hazard when wet. There are good views all along the rest of the trail right up to the summit. I did not find the trail too heavily trafficked but that may have been because I did it on a Monday morning between 600-9:30 am. All in all a decent hike and certainly worth the time and effort.

hiking
13 days ago

Nice trail. Would rate it as moderate.

hiking
18 days ago

I hiked this late may. Absolutely amazing. Definitely do the sunrise hike! (It was at 5:03 for us, so we started at 2:30) we stayed in blackwoods campground the night before, so we had to walk a mile to the actual trail head but this is seriously one of my favorite hikes. It was above the tree line for about 2/3s of it. I recommend the hell out of this!!! I was hesitant about hiking in the dark, but with a good head light, you’re really only in the dark for maybe a half hour, because then you are under moonlight.

hiking
bugs
rocky
28 days ago

We (45, 40, 13, and 11 yoa) did this hike on June 18. It was strenuous, but doable and beautiful. Mosquitoes were an annoyance especially for the first mile which is woodsy.

hiking
bugs
muddy
scramble
30 days ago

The first half an hour nothing out of the ordinary. The next mile, when you're exposed, feels like walking through a bansai garden. So beautiful around Dike Peak. Went clockwise and the ascent was reasonable. I chose to see Cadillac Mountain summit at sunset the previous day so that I wouldn't feel the need to absorb it all when I was tired or when it was crowded. The return was a lot less fun. Quite a number of rock scrambles, and then walking along running water brought mosquitoes. A really challenging part was going up along the waterfalls, which was steep and slippery. It was anti-climactic to have such an ascent after already having reached the summit . And I lost my gray pullover along the way :( Still, a very nice return, definitely my favorite part of the hike from Dike's Peak. If you want the exercise, do the full loop. Otherwise, go back where you came from and you'll probably get the greatest enjoyment. Full loop with a number of breaks took a little under 6 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is amazing. Hard on the body at some points, but well worth the effort!

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

We did this trail at 8am on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and could not have asked for better conditions considering the day before was super rainy. We started off on the A Loop of Blackwoods campground and navigated our way through the woods up to the more exposed parts of the mountain. It was beautiful throughout entire trail and in some parts challenging- mainly due to the length of time on a gradual incline. Personally I loved it (and Acadia in general) and will 100% be attempting the trial for the sunrise hike now I’m more familiar. 10/10

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

This was an incredible hike with plenty of varied terrain. From straightforward trails, to rock scrambles, views of the gorge, crossing over mountain streams (and back again!) and more. We enjoyed every part of the hike except for the crowds of people and parking lot that took away from the experience of the views from the top of Cadillac Mountain. We found it difficult to find the trail again once intersected by the Cadillac parking lot. We finally found the trail after going to the left and then down (follow the carins!) We were met with a surprisingly steep but fun descent through large boulders and made our way down into the gorge where we soon met up with gentle mountain streams. Following these and crossing almost seemed incorrect but eventually making it to the Young path, we found some great waterfalls and slick rock which made for a fun ascent before meeting back up with the south ridge trail. Would recommend this hike to anyone looking for something more than a saunter, but achievable with a little bit of leg muscle.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. Glad we took the lollipop loop clockwise as the trail from summit down was stew and easier down than up (IMO). Amazing views but I think the real treat was following the brook in the valley. So beautiful. Minimal bugs at this time

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
snow
3 months ago

hiking
scramble
4 months ago

We did this hike in July and it was absolutely amazing, but it was also one of the most challenging hikes we have ever done. You don’t just hike - many places you have to climb over big rocks and it can be difficult to see the trail at times. The hike is also very strenuous at times and it’s definitely not an easy hike (I’m mostly talking about the “loop”-part of the trail here, the rest is not that difficult). We were not prepared for this, so the hike took longer than what we thought it would. It is however a beautiful hike and you don’t see many other people on the way which makes it even more special.

hiking
4 months ago

Difficult but beautiful

hiking
5 months ago

Started this trail at 2:30 am to hit the summit at sunrise and made it by 10 minutes, beautiful views all around during every time of the hike. The stars at night halfway up the trail and then the sunrise...totally worth it. First hike I ever did and even had running shoes on, improper clothing and equipment, totally laughable, but goes to show most people could do this hike if I was poorly dressed and prepared on an overnight. Enjoy this!!

hiking
6 months ago

Seeing a 7.5 mike trail and thinking “how could this be hard?” Is a mistake. The slopes and grades on the mountainside are unlike any hikes I’ve ever completed. You’re doing almost a vertical climb at some parts. However, hard work pays off. You get some of the most beautiful scenes of the Coast and Bar Harbor to the North. Plus, you get an extreme workout that makes you feel like you completed something insane!

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