Gorham Mountain Trail

Acadia National Park

Downeast + Acadia, Maine

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Gorham Mountain Trail


  • The summit of Gorham Mountain.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • Following the open ridge near the summit of Gorham Mountain.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • Bates Cairns mark the trail.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • Many stone steps have been carved along the trail.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • An overhead view of the rocky trail.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • The Waldron Bates Memorial.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • Starting out from the Gorham Mountain Trailhead.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • The intersection with the Cadillac Cliff Trail.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • The Cadillac Cliff Trail winds through a narrow passage.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • Hiking along the Cadillac Cliffs Trail.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • A tunnel on the Cadillac Cliffs Trail.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • The ancient sea cave along the Cadillac Cliffs Trail.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • Looking out toward Sand Beach.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • Approaching the summit.- Gorham Mountain Trail
  • - Gorham Mountain Trail
Overview + Weather
Great views. Multiple routes to the top.
Downeast + Acadia, ME
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
450.00 ft (137.16 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.20 mi (5.15 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
74.00 ft (22.56 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Gorham Mountain is a great hike with incredible views of the bays surrounding Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park. Most people choose to link the Gorham Mountain Trail with the Ocean Path, making a 3.2-mile loop that starts and ends between Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff. It's also possible to link with the Beehive Loop, adding about 2.5 miles to the trip. Others simply head up and down the same route. With a moderate climb up to 525 feet, the trail offers some great views without the stress of the iron rung trails like the Beehive. 

From the Gorham Mountain parking area, it's a 0.2-mile gradual climb to the Waldron Bates memorial and junction with the Cadillac Cliffs Trail. Bates was the lead author of the first trail map for Mount Desert Island, and he led the Path Committee of the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association, adding 25 miles of trails to the island. He also authored the first trail handbook for trail crews on the island, which standardized trail maintenance and construction.

Just beyond the memorial is the Cadillac Cliffs Trail intersection. This trail offers an alternate, more strenuous route to the summit, weaving between narrow cliff walls, through a tunnel, and along an ancient sea cave. While it's hard to imagine the ocean reaching this height, this piece of land was actually much closer to sea level at the end of the last ice age. As the glaciers receded, the Earth slowly rebounded from the added weight of the glaciers, rising to its current height.

Shortly after the trails reconvene, the Gorham Mountain Trail follows an open ridge with excellent views of the surrounding bays and open ocean. Otter Point and Sand Beach are clear landmarks, as is the Beehive to the east. The best views are found during the climb, so be sure to stop and enjoy them. The summit is a little lackluster in comparison, marked by a large pile of rocks and a sign. Continue following blue blazes past the summit to complete the loop with the Ocean Path, or simply return the way you came.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

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