Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail

#3 of 108 trails in Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bar Harbor, ME that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

7.7 miles 2178 feet Out & Back
dog friendly hiking forest views wild flowers wildlife muddy rocky
Hide Map

Cadillac Mountain is the tallest mountain on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The true summit is to the left where the South Ridge Trail opens onto the gravel access road. Look for 2 survey benchmarks established by the US Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1856 and the 1954. The South Ridge Trail is a gradual climb, but it has the advantage of not coming close to the Cadillac Summit Road until the end. The trail briefly descends to a small pond called The Featherbed, where there is a wooden bench for taking a break and enjoying the pond.

Bobbi Hughes
2 months ago

14 Completed1 Reviews


Brian Steger
8 months ago

7 Completed4 Reviews

Amazing views. Drove to the top and hiked all around to see out to the harbor
and surrounding islands. If you go to Bar Harbor you have go here. Wish I could have long boarded down the access road. That would have been amazing.

Paul Wing
8 months ago

49 Completed2 Reviews

Erika Fellinger
9 months ago

5 Completed1 Reviews

Nice sloped hiking. Did it with my 9, 7, and 4 yo and they only complained the last half mile. :)
Longer distance is trade off for easier slope and you can walk straight from Blackwoods.

Ed Maierhofer
9 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

It was 5/5 stars

Keith Berg
10 months ago

37 Completed16 Reviews

I hiked this in the morning to watch the sun rise on my vacation to Acadia. 99% of people drive to the top to watch the sun rise but anyone willing to get up and put the work in to hike while it is still dark this is a very rewarding trek. Mountian marker is not a summit stick like on other hills so you need to search a little bit to find the peak marker to the south of the parking lot. Short hike from the top gets you to Dorr Mountain peak as well.

Valerie Lacroix
10 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Beautiful hike with 360 degrees views all the way to the top! By far best hike I've ever been on!

Matthew Palmer
10 months ago

13 Completed12 Reviews

This was maybe the best hike I ever did and I've been hiking for 14 years. We went on a hot day in August but the view was absolutely incredible and the store at the top is nice since it's air conditioned. You can drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain but I highlt recommend hiking.

Mike Miller
11 months ago

34 Completed12 Reviews

Lynn Wright
1 year ago

6 Completed5 Reviews

A really nice way to see the top of Cadilac Mtn without seeing the crowds. The trail was having some maintenance work done on the lower section last summer so there were a few spots it was muddy but the views once you come out of the woods are spectacular!

Ryan Kulina
2 years ago

39 Completed28 Reviews

clay tracy
2 years ago

96 Completed8 Reviews

I went in the fall and the views were incredible. I went back the next morning after the hike and drove to the top to watch the sunrise. Absolutely awesome! I was actually surprised at the amount of people up there at 5 a.m.. Anyway, you will enjoy the hike or the drive to the top for the sunrise.

Saptrik B
2 years ago

48 Completed23 Reviews

We hit this with lost of rain this week and although the views were not there do to all the fog we did see lots of waterfalls and some slick boulders to cross over !

Jerry T
2 years ago

144 Completed140 Reviews

Nice hike along brook. It can be muddy along with roots but nice easy hike

Robert Corsello
3 years ago

19 Completed3 Reviews

Scott Morgan
3 years ago

10 Completed2 Reviews

great hike, shared it with my brother right before it opened for the season amazing views, quite a hike from bottom to top but well worth it.

Lisa Y.
4 years ago

Great trail. Hiked with 12 and 8 yr olds, not a problem. Weather at top did get foggy and slippery.

Nathanael Morin
4 years ago

12 Completed12 Reviews

Great Hike with Youthgroup

David Bridges
4 years ago

10 Completed9 Reviews

On our previous day, we hiked the Beehive, Great Head Trail, Wonderland Trail, and Ship's Harbor Trail, so our legs were a little tired for this hike. We got a slightly late start (9am) so we started from Route 3. There are a number of places to wander to the edge of the ridge as you ascend, giving what would be amazing views of the island. I say would be because it was incredibly foggy that day. There is a lake half way up that you can sit by and have a snack. The second half of the climb is exposed granite, so make sure to wear a hat. Another warning, when you fist see the road (almost at the top), you are not at the top yet. A couple of parties that were ahead of us told us that this was the top and that the trail would now start heading down the mountain. While it does head down for a short bit, this is not the end!!

Like other people have said, the top is rather disappointing because you have the huge parking lot filled with non-hikers; however, you can see a long distance in all directions (the fog had cleared by the time we reached the top). We even watched as the sand bar to Bar Island began to disappear.

This was a nice hike, but next time I would like to hike one of the other tall mountains to avoid the crowds.

Chris Perry
4 years ago

19 Completed14 Reviews

The 6 mile hike is a good way to feel you climb the mt. although there is the road that scales up to the summit. The view is great and makes for a great day hike.and we had a truck at the top so we could ride our bikes down the road to the bottom. Great times.