The Gorge Path is one of the most iconic trails in Acadia National Park, and it allows hikers to experience some of the best qualities of the park. Views of the ocean, inlet, and island are present from the summits of Cadillac Mountain (1,522 feet) and Dorr Mountain (1,270 feet), while old-growth forest and a bubbling stream entertain you on the way up. This is a great day hike that only takes three to four hours, leaving plenty of time to explore the rest of the park.
Beginning off Park Loop Road, hikers cross a small creek before walking for about a half-mile on an incredibly flat dirt trail. From here, the Gorge Path shows its most well-known feature, a set of more than 1,000 stone steps. While easier than stepping boulder to boulder, these large steps are reminiscent of a stair climber and do require a decent degree of fitness.
After finishing the steps, the trail turns into a steep path that eventually leads to a clearing that marks the highest point of the gorge. From here, you can continue 0.3 mile (one way) to the summit of Dorr Mountain or 0.4 mile (one way) to the summit of Cadillac. Both of these trails are fun scrambles that allow for a more creative path. Unfortunately, the blazes that mark each trail are faint and sometimes poorly placed. Make sure you stay on rock surfaces to ensure that plant life is not destroyed! That being said, there are copious amounts of wild blueberries lining both trails, so help yourself to a quick snack while on the move.
Do one or both of the summits for your hike and descend to the high point of the gorge. From here, return the way you came to your car. Watch your step on the way down, especially when there's been recent rain, as the rock becomes dangerously slick. Keep your hands free and go slowly!