Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail

Acadia National Park

Downeast + Acadia, Maine

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Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail

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  • The beginning of the South Ridge Trails winds through dense forest.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • A small clearing early in the hike.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • One of the many wooden bridges on the hike.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Steps past Eagle Creek Trail Junction.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Gorgeous Maine forest.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • The Featherbed, an excellent spot to rest.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • The Featherbed.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • The trail quickly opens to sparse vegetation and stunning views.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • A rocky ridge that you follow. The summit is the highest point on the hills in front of you.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • The trail climbs moderately along the ridge.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Looking at the Featherbed from above.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Be sure to make frequent stops to enjoy the views to the south.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Views from the midpoint of the trail.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • At times, the south ridge trail can seem intimidating as you stare along the length of the ridge.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Hiking up and away from the Featherbed.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Wildflowers bloom in the final stretch before the summit.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Looking down the slope and nearing the summit.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Views from the summit.- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
  • Pack a lunch to enjoy at the top, you won't regret it!- Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Peregrine falcons galore.
Cons: 
Big crowds at the summit.
Region:
Downeast + Acadia, ME
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,380.00 ft (420.62 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for: 
Hiking
Total Distance: 
7.10 mi (11.43 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
180.00 ft (54.86 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Cadillac is the tallest mountain in the Acadia region, and it is one of the first places in the United States to receive light during the sunrise. It's a beautiful hike in Acadia National Park that gives you great views of both rolling hillsides and the harbor.

Starting at 180 feet above sea level, the Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail weaves through picturesque Maine forest on a well maintained trail. There is a trail junction about a mile in; follow the sign's direction toward Cadillac Mountain (an additional 2.5 miles) and continue up some rock stairs. Follow the marked trail and the many cairns up to a long rock face. Continue on the rock face as it slopes up and down, taking in an idyllic pond called the Featherbed. It's a great place for a rest!

Push past the Featherbed and follow the blue paint blazes up toward the summit. Continue on the flat rock, which is clear due to the lack of trees. Enter a small cedar grove forest, scramble through some narrow rocks, and you'll soon begin to hear the road. This means you're almost there!

Past the cedars is a clearing where you'll see the summit and a bustling parking lot across from you. There is a road that takes you directly to the summit of Cadillac, but don't let that discourage you once you've hit the top. Take in the views, enjoy a snack, and head back down the way you came.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(18 within a 30 mile radius)

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