Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail Loop

HARD 236 reviews
#5 of 168 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.

hiking
2 days 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
1 month 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!

hiking
1 month ago

A very simple straightforward trail. However, there’s a ton of ice on this route. Even with microspikes, snow was building up beneath my boots and causing me to slip. Anticipate an extra hour or two in the winter due to icy conditions. I also saw a snowy owl at the top of Cadillac.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views and great trail. We were lucky and had excellent weather on 12/31/18. If not so lucky, this hike could be dangerous for inexperienced hikers (like us). There was a good amount of ice on our hike up the South Ridge Trail, and we saw someone who had traction cleats and we wished we had thought of that. On the descent from Cadillac Mountain towards Murray Young Path, it was too steep/icy for our dog (and probably for us!), so we turned back after a quarter of a mile. I would highly recommend this any time of year, if conditions permit!

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked the south ridge trail at 5am to catch the sunrise. The entrance is hidden on the opposite side of the campgrounds. We started hiking up the snowy pine trail and finally reached the top. Absolutely breathtaking views! The rocks on the way up were icy but fairly an easy climb if you’re in decent shape. Wish the cold didn’t zap my battery because we made it to 2,000ft! Beautiful hike! =)

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike with even better views.

3 months ago

Lots of views, lots of up, and in the fall you don’t see many people going this way, add mileage starting from camp ground :)

4 months ago

Took about 2:15 to finish round trip at a fairly brisk pace. Easy all the way up. A little towards the end but nothing strenuous for any normal human. Great views during ridge hike until to get to human parade at the top.

4 months ago

Beautiful trail gradual ascent. Follow the blue blazes

4 months ago

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

4 months 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.

4 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months 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
5 months 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.

5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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!

5 months 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

6 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
7 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.

7 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
7 months ago

Great variety, breathtaking views and physically challenging.

hiking
7 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
7 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. :-)

7 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.

7 months ago

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

7 months ago

long steady ascent

hiking
7 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.

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