Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail Loop

HARD 266 reviews
#6 of 151 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
2,247 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.

4 days ago

We didn't do the whole trail, but the views were lovely.

22 days ago

Nice climb. Cadillac is the highest point in Acadia and has some great views, but like any viewpoint that has road access it’s a little cluttered during the day. The south assent is pretty steady with one of the most challenging verticals toward the end of the loop. Easy to tack on a side trip up and down Donn which round me out at about 11 miles.

24 days ago

Great trail... lots of variety and wonderful views! Challenging but not too hard. Only crowded at the top. Do it!!!

hiking
27 days ago

Although strenuous at times, the views and the path along the ridge of the mountain were breathtaking!

hiking
29 days ago

Beautiful hike! I did the loop counter-clockwise too to keep the nice slop down from the top for the end. I did not know what to expect from the loop before going down Canon Brook trail, but I loved the river bed in the middle of the forest. It was worth going down and up again!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike for my son and I. Challenging for me and my son (27)'was able to get a good workout in. Beautiful vistas...the hike back down was incredible. Come prepared with plenty of water.

1 month ago

Great hike! Completed in around 3 hours roundtrip. Wasn't difficult at all! Loved it!

hiking
1 month ago

Loved the way up to this beautiful mountain with ocean backdrop and cool breeze. While coming down I took the A Murray Trail and went almost 2.3 miles off of south ridge trail. I was literally the only one on the trail. Too much elevation gain when merging to South Ridge trail. As this is my third hike today after beehive and precipice foot hurts so bad. But the views from the top are amazing. There are loads of people once you get to the top and there is an eco store on the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a great hike. Gets more challenging as you get closer to the top.
Took us 4 hours, stopping to take photos as well as catch our breath at some points. The top can be very congested with people and cars as most drive to see the top. We started at 8am we were back down by noon would definitely recommend going early!

hiking
1 month ago

We did this 7.1 mike trail in roughly 3 hours, taking our time to stop along the way and enjoy the views. Can’t wait to go back!

1 month ago

Hike from north ridge base to the top of Cadillac and south ridge down. Granite rock for for the first half of the way down. Tree roots the last half. Use the bus in the park to get around

2 months ago

Really great trail that is challenging without being brutally hard. If you’re going in the summer, go early and bring a ton of water - it gets insanely hot and basically no coverage.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this route today with my dog. big Boulder scramble in the gorge! I only helped him twice. Athletic dogs should be able to do this without issue. Counter clockwise around the loop was the best choice for me. incredible views of Cadillac cliffs from the A Murray Trail.

2 months ago

Great hike up to Cadillac Summit with beautiful views. After reaching the summit you take Gorge trail down a rocky descent along leading you to trail beside a stream in the woods. You’ll then pickup another trail that’s a steep climb which takes you back to Cadillac south ridge trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Great variety, breathtaking views and physically challenging.

hiking
3 months ago

I enjoyed this trail. I would personally rate it moderate or moderate-hard, although the distance is fairly long which can be tiresome for some hikers. The views throughout were breathtaking and definitely worth the consistent uphill ascent! Cadillac can get pretty crowded near the parking lot area once you reach the top, so it’s nice to stay towards the less populated areas for a more serene atmosphere.

hiking
3 months ago

The views on this trail are just breathtaking. My husband and I decided on this trail because of accessibility and our dog Shadow. She did excellent on her ascent but there was no way she could make the 3+ mile decent. We’re lucky she’s cute. Some very nice ladies from California offered us a ride down to our car. :-)

3 months ago

Really nice day trip. Overall not too tough until above the tree line. It did get windy up there, I’d recommend a snug fitting hat or long sleeves. The views at the top are gorgeous, although I’d recommend staying away from the parking area for something a bit more tranquil.

3 months ago

Challenging hike. We then took the A Murray Young trail and it was AMAZING.

3 months ago

long steady ascent

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with adequate challenges, and not impossible for even young children. The scenery is beautiful and the views from higher elevations are stunning.

3 months ago

long gradual ascent

3 months ago

This trail is a beautiful hike to the summit of Cadillac. Once you summit, however, you need to cross over to the other side of the mountain, then follow the Gorge Trail down the other side. This part is very steep with some boulder hopping (and drops). Continue along Gorge and turn right into A Murray Young trail. Beautiful mountain stream, cool and shady. Follow this to the junction of Murray and Cannon Brook. We found a nice flat spot on the rocks at this junction to take a quick dunk in the stream. From here, it becomes a very steep, very aggressive climb on the rocks for the next 30 minutes or so. Back into the woods and you will then catch back up with South Ridge trail, follow back to Blackwoods campground.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful! It’s strenuous for folks not used to regular hiking - but well worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was absolutely amazing! I wouldn’t say hard but challenging. I recommend you wear proper hiking shoes for foot and ankle purposes. My husband and I took our two dogs and it was not hard for them at all except for one part before the summit where there is a bar/ladder that we had to assist both. The scenery on the way up was stunning and breathtaking would definitely hike it again!!

hiking
4 months ago

I took my friends on this hike and it was their first and they absolutely loved it! I would definitely recommend hiking shoes/boots because the terrain changes a lot. I loved getting out of the woods and onto the rocks where you could see views of nearby neighborhoods, the ocean and other mountains! The scenery was stunning and the hike itself wasn’t too trying on my joints. I would recommend this hike!

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely wonderful hike. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the views which were stunning. Weather was perfect. Proper footwear goes a long way as the trail is rooted and rocky as one might expect. Highly recommended. I would hike this trail again

4 months ago

This was an awesome hike! It was our first time at Acadia and this did not disappoint. I would definitely go back and do this again! Beautiful views all the way up and a variety of vegetation. It was a decent workout, too. Heads up - if you bring your dog, you probably want to get them boots. We brought our dog who loves hikes and has done 9 miles with ease, and she couldn’t make it through this hike because of the rocky terrain. She got major blisters on her paws and had to be carried down the last two miles (luckily we had a dog first aid kit and could wrap her one paw that got cut!).

4 months ago

Beautiful hike! We started at Blackwoods Campground which connects to the trailhead. Start in the morning to beat the crowds!

hiking
4 months ago

We hiked this trail at sunrise in April before the park had officially opened when not all trails were available. Between the this, the North Ridge trail, and walking up park loop road, we chose this hike because we read it was the most scenic of the three and the trailhead was easy to find. You can park right on the road (Champlain dr) by the trailhead, which is right across from the Blackwoods campground. The hike was beautiful at sunrise and would definitely recommend. The trail was still icy and snowy, I would recommend yaktrax or crampons of some sort at that time of year or we may not have made it to the top. It was very cold at the top, we weren't able to stay there for long before heading down. We hope to come back to this trail in warmer weather and do it again, as the trail was beautiful! There were some steep parts, but overall I would rate the trail as moderate, not hard.

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