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Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail Loop

Difficult
 4.8 (17) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

An exciting loop up the Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail, down the ridge, returning up through The Gorge.


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Map Key

3.4

Miles

5.5

KM

Loop

1,248' 381 m

High

114' 35 m

Low

1,142' 348 m

Up

1,142' 348 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

70%

Max Grade (35°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

This route features one of the most interesting sections of trail in the whole park. The Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail is one of the oldest trails that utilizes stone steps, while also using three separate metal ladders to climb up massive granite boulders to the top of Dorr Mountain.

This trail is not suitable for small children or visitors who are sensitive to heights or exposure. Most capable visitors will find this route exciting and not overly dangerous, but there are inherent physical demands involved in climbing the ladders that should be considered before embarking on the trail.

Description

To access this loop hike, head off the Park Loop Road at Sieur de Monts onto State Route 3. Head south on this road and look for the Dorr Mountain Trailhead Pull-off Parking Area just past the south end of The Tarn.

From the parking area, head west on the Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail. This trail starts abruptly with an almost immediate climb up granite steps. There are three metal ladders that help the climb up a series of granite boulders. This stretch, though physically demanding, has some very interesting rock formations that are worth exploring.

After a half mile, the trail terminates at the Schiff Path. This trail will begin to level out, though it still continues to climb toward the top of Dorr Mountain, gaining another 400-500 feet in elevation in just over a half mile.

From the top of Dorr Mountain, the views are stunning, with a great vantage point of the Mt Desert Narrows to the east and Cadillac Mountain to the west. From the peak, head south onto the Dorr South Ridge Trail as it descends the southern ridge.

At mile 2.3, the trail culminates at the Canon Brook Trail. This trail heads back north on low, level ground. After three-quarters of a mile, continue north onto the Kane Path as it heads through The Gorge below the eastern slope of Dorr Mountain, which you just summited.

Finish this loop by returning on the beginning section of the Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail, back to the Dorr Mountain Trailhead Parking Area.

History & Background

The Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail was built by Waldron Bates. Bates was the Chair of the Roads and Paths Committee of the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association between 1900 and 1909 and during that time he began to employ metal rungs, ladders, and stone steps to help ascend the numerous peaks in the park.

Contacts

Shared By:

Zander Göpfert

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 17 votes

#431

Overall
  4.8 from 17 votes
5 Star
82%
4 Star
18%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#11

in Maine

#431

Overall
176 Views Last Month
3,920 Since Jul 7, 2016
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
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94%
6%

Photos

View of the Tarn and Frenchman Bay beyond from the Schiff Path
May 31, 2016 near Bar Harbor, ME
Schiff Path has beautiful views from its pleasant tread. I never knew how much I could love rocks!
Jun 19, 2017 near Bar Harbor, ME
Hiking up the granite steps on the Dorr North Ridge Trail.
Jul 7, 2016 near Bar Harbor, ME
Hike up Dorr Mountain and Cadillac Mountain.
Sep 15, 2015 near Bar Harbor, ME
Dorr Mountain Ladder Trail
Mar 26, 2020 near Bar Harbor, ME

Weather


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Check-Ins

Sep 12, 2020
Doug Unger
5.3mi — 2h 09m
Aug 23, 2020
Margaret Myers
4h 48m
Aug 11, 2020
Lea Chidlow
Aug 2, 2020
Lucy Xie
3.2mi — 1h 36m
Jul 29, 2020
Steph C
I loved this trail! Took it slow and steady in this heat going up the steps...loved the section on ladders and between boulders. Enjoyed lunch on… 4mi — 2h 40m
Jul 3, 2020
Kevin Boudreau
Mar 27, 2020
Kevin Boudreau
Sep 28, 2019
Katie Ribble
Great hike, lots of good lookouts and stopping spots 3.4mi — 3h 50m