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blueBlack Cadillac Mountain Summit Loop

  4.5 ( 11 ) Favorite


4.9 mile 7.8 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,324' 404 m
Descent: -1,327' -404 m
High: 1,515' 462 m
Low: 203' 62 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 39% (21°)


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Trail shared by Andrew Averna

Enjoy a scenic loop hike to the summit of Cadillac Mountain and back again.

Andrew Averna

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife


This hike stitches together the Gorge Path (the eastern approach to Cadillac Mountain), the Cadillac North Ridge Trail, and part of the Kebo Brook Trail to create a gorgeous 5-mile hike starting from a convenient pull-off on the Park Loop Road.

Need to Know

I recommend over-the-ankle hiking boots for stability, as this route has plenty of rock climbing, steep grades, and slippery-when-wet conditions. Bugs were not bad or non-existent when we did this during a sunny, dry week in September, but that's not always the case. You may want to bring bug repellant just in case.


Starting from the Gorge Path Parking Area on the Park Loop Road, this hike follows the Gorge Path south. You'll descend off the road down stone stairs next to a huge stone arch that bridges the road.

A 0.5-mile easy trek through the woods will warm you up before the path starts uphill in earnest following the gorge between Cadillac and Dorr Mountains. The path is steep, more like hiking up a river of rock (you won't see much dirt on this entire hike), with stone stairs and a small stream you'll be following. The trees provide nice cover, so even on a warm day, you won't have much sun exposure for the Gorge Path section.

Once you reach the junction of the Gorge Path, Schiff Path, and A. Murray Young Path trails, hook a right and start climbing! It's all up steep rock faces to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, but you'll be rewarded with beautiful views of the gorge you just completed and Dorr Mountain across the way to the east. If you look carefully, you can see the sign post denoting the summit of Dorr Mountain and sometimes other hikers descending into the gorge down the Schiff Path.

When you summit Cadillac, save some breath for a haughty sniff at those who drove up (just kidding). Take in the scenes from Cadillac in all directions by adding the easy, short, and well marked Cadillac Summit Loop—less a trail and more of just a nice loop around the summit—before heading down the Cadillac North Ridge Trail.

The Cadillac North Ridge Trail is almost entirely downhill and exposed rock. Some steep sections that take a little climbing down and care for footing (can get slick when wet) exist, but mostly it's a much easier trip than the way up. You come up right next to the road that goes to the summit a few times near some of the scenic pull-offs for those driving up and down. At the bottom, cross the Park Loop Road and head into the trees to pick up the Kebo Brook Trail. From here, you're in the home stretch.

The KBT is a fairly easy—you'll even feel dirt underfoot again after miles of exposed rock—trek through the woods that you can follow back to the Gorge Path, the Park Loop Road, and the place you parked. You come back to the road under the same big stone arch you started from, but from the opposite direction. Overall, the arch marks a great end to a beautiful hike!

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Jul 16, 2019
Jaden Lewis
5mi — 8h 15m
Jul 4, 2019
Tariq Bamadhaj
Jun 27, 2019
Terra Gatti
Took N. Cadillac up to the top of the mountain, then came back down the Gorge Trail which is magical and wild and like another world. — 11h 37m
Jun 19, 2019
Micah Shettler
Jun 7, 2019
Lester Burris
Jun 1, 2019
Shane Owens
May 24, 2019
James Marion
May 21, 2019
James Marion

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 11 votes


in Bar Harbor


  4.5 from 11 votes
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