Dorr Mountain Cannon Brook Loop Trail

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Acadia National Park

Dorr Mountain Cannon Brook Loop Trail is a 3.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Bar Harbor, Maine that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 3.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,151 feet Route Type: Loop


nature trips

bird watching





wild flowers



no dogs

The moderate loop or out and back Ladder Trail offers great views along a steep granite step and iron ladder climb to the top of Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park. Hike up the long row of steps that hugs the cliffs. Then come to a set of three ladders, none of which are as exposed as the ladders and iron rungs on Beehive or Precipice. More steps take you to the Schiff Path, aka the Dorr Mountain East Face Trail / Dorr Mtn. trail to continue up the mountain climbing along more moderate exposed rock slopes (not recommended when wet). Once at the trail intersection near the top of Dorr Mountain, a left on the Ridge Trail leads to the summit at 1,270 feet, with awesome panoramic views of Mount Desert Island, the ocean, and the outer islands.. The summit offers 360 degree with the taller Cadillac Mountain to the west. To complete the loop hike, one good option is to continue hiking down the Dorr Mountain South Ridge Trail. This route descends at a moderate rate. Once the trail reaches the base of the mountain take a left on the Canon Brook Trail and another turn at the Kane trail (aka The Tarn Trail) back to the trailhead. Alternatively you can go down the Schiff trail. The Ladder Trail terminates at the junction of the Schiff Path. Continue with the Schiff/East Face trail to the next right turn which descends to the Tarn trail running along the Tarn back to the Ladder trailhead and parking area. The Ladder Trail is one of the oldest stone step trails in the park and offers a great workout. The trail was build by Waldron Bates, chairman of the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Paths and Trail Committee.

7 days ago

We hiked up Dorr ladder south trail first and then came down Dorr south ridge and canon brook. My husband struggles with heights and was able to do this hike easily. They weren’t lying when they said 2,000 stone steps in beginning. I have asthma and the beginning was pretty steep, so I did have to stop frequently on that first part but once we got to the ladders it wasn’t bad. Loved the trail coming down. Beautiful hike well worth the effort because the views are magnificent.

10 days ago

Acadia never disappoints. For this hike you’ll go up over 1,000 stairs almost straight up the side of the mountain. There are also 3 ladders (this ascent is in the Ladder Trail). The first ladder is the longest and a bit scary, but I just said some choice words and climbed fast. The other 2 ladders are much easier. Like many of the peaks in Acadia, the top goes on for a long time. Lots of great lookouts and places to hang. On the way down you’ll take the Cannon Brook Trail. That part was a little boring until the pond. (You take a left onto this trail to complete the loop. I’ve read you can also go right, go up, see waterfalls, and check out Cadillac. I plan to return later in the week to check it out. ). The first half of this trail is strenuous but a LOT of fun... even that first ladder!!

9 months ago

The Ladder Trail is amazing in that there are some 2000 granite steps and a few nice scrambles with Ladders. Wild Blueberries were in season and the views from the top are beautiful. Nice hike down via the South Trail and Canon. Great hike for only 3.2+/- miles. Lots of variety.

11 months ago

Great historic trail with stone stairs & ladders - slick in the rainy drizzle, but well worth the hike. Views of Cadillac & Champlain Mountains as well as sweeping ocean views.

Sun Aug 12 2018

great work out. went up north dorr mountain and down Ladder trail.

Tue Jul 10 2018

One of our favorite hikes for a real workout. Don't expect so many ladders as a straight hour of stone steps - with some cool areas in the middle with stone passages, iron railings and ladders. Just when you think you may be done - there's then the climb over open granite areas where the views really open up before you reach summit. At summit - you are just below the crowds on adjacent Cadillac summit (close enough to wave to them) - you appreciate the quietness and no crowds on Dorr. The descent also gives great southern views to Otter Cove, thru some Pine areas down to the very tranquil Canon Brook return - along the stream and beaver dams, crossing wooden plank bridges across the water on your return to car. This parking area off Rte 3 is very large, always plenty of space.

Thu Oct 05 2017

This is a nice little day hike with some varying terrain. I think it is more of a moderate trail considering the elevation and distance. Has great views at several points throughout the trek.

Fri Aug 11 2017

Awesome hike. Great trail up. Many steps and a couple of ladders. Get there by sunrise snd youll have the trail and summit to yourself. Will be back on this trail

Fri Aug 04 2017

Very nice trip! The videos are fantastic!!

Fri Jul 28 2017

Lots fun

Sat Jul 22 2017

Reality fun to do and the ladder trail offered a little bit of a challenge too.

Sun May 28 2017

Could have used more ladders. Second half of the loop was not as exciting as I hoped. Still beautiful though. Great workout!

Thu Apr 20 2017

I have done this hike a few times. It is one of my favorite hikes. Today was extra challenging because the rocks were wet from recent rain but extra beautiful because of the mini waterfalls coming over the cliffs after the rain.

Sat Sep 03 2016

This is less about ladders and rock scrambles and more about endurance. The first half of the hike (Dorr Mt. Ladder trail) is the stairmaster from hell. The summit is very rewarding with beautiful views. The second half is basic sloped rocks and a lot of stepping down. Not our favorite, but it was a great workout.

Thu Jul 28 2016

Awesome trail with lots of leg workout included free of charge. Just did this yesterday from The Tarn. There were only a few iron ladders and it was still wet when we ascended. I would recommend being careful and also not really good for kids under 7 as some of the steps are tall step ups and footing can be tricky.

Mon Jul 11 2016

great hike, no crowds.

Sun Jul 10 2016

Smooth and not too steep. The trail ends at a small lake and you can pick up the Garden Path trail that will take you back to the Abbé museum

Sun Apr 24 2016

Up ladder, down south ridge. About 2 hr's. lot more steps and less ladders then I expected, had my hopes up, for more ladders.

Thu Oct 23 2014

Great hike with awesome views. The trailhead is not well marked but if you just go past the Tarn from the north on Hwy 3, look for a wide gravel area on the right. The trailhead is at the tree edge. Talk about step engineering, this is a stairmaster climb that won't disappoint. Only three iron ladders and not as scary as Beehive or Precipice, the Ladder trail gives you a great workout and then hits the Schiff/Dorr Mountain rocky slope to the top. We loved seeing all the people on top of Cadillac while we virtually had Dorr all to ourselves. There are many options to take at the top, e.g. you can continue on the Gorge trail to Cadillac, or you can go back down the Ladder trail, or you can go take the East Face/Schiff trail to the Tarn, OR you can take the South Ridge Trail down to the Canon/Kane trail back to the parking area. Highly recommend this hike.

Fri Jul 04 2014

This is probably my favorite trail at Acadia. The ladder is a great climb with beautiful views and fun scrambles.

Wed Mar 12 2014

Not a bad trail. The ladders were fairly easy and wonderful views. Climbed up as part of loop

Sat Apr 06 2013

This is an interesting hike along the Tarn. Views towards Dorr are limited because of closeness and across pond you have to endure the traffic. We hike once in awhile to complete a loop up and down Dorr back to our car.

Wed Oct 03 2012

This trail is my favorite, and has the best views of all the trails I visited at Acadia. The best views are on the way up (or down, depending on which way you started). The peak's views are blocked a little by shrubbery. I would not recommend hiking this trail when it is wet outside, as it has steep drop offs and slippery rock. Also, probably not good for people afraid of heights. The terrain is really varied, beginning with steep stone steps through wooded areas, including trails and ladders along beautiful views, and ending at a lake full of flowers and frogs. Great Hike.

5 days ago

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