For many people, the Cadillac South Ridge Trail is the best route to the top of Acadia's tallest mountain. Like the Cadillac North Ridge Trail
, it offers spectacular ocean views. But unlike the Cadillac North Ridge Trail
, it never skirts the Park Loop Road, so you'll never have to listen to cars whizzing past.
The trailhead, located off Route 3 about 150 feet southwest of the turnoff to Blackwoods Campground, doesn't look like much, which might be why many people overlook this trail. After a slow start through the woods, the Cadillac South Ridge Trail climbs to higher elevations, and the views start to open up.
The higher you climb, the better the views become. Just before the junction with the Canon Brook Trail
, you'll pass the Featherbed, a small pond that's a nice place to take a break. Past the Featherbed, the trail ascends a rocky ridge. Follow the cairns and blue blazes to the summit, and don't forget to turn around and enjoy the spectacular views of the Gulf of Maine along the way.
If you find yourself spending the night at the Blackwoods Campground, take note that this trail can be accessed from the southwest corner of the campground. If you're planning to watch the sunrise from the trail, this shortcut could save you valuable time.
Thanks to guidebook author and photographer, James Kaiser, for sharing this trail description. To learn more about visiting Acadia, check out his Guide to Acadia National Park