Hiking ME – Cadillac North Ridge Trail / Acadia National Park – August 2020

Cadillac North Ridge Trail is one of several options to hike up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. This is a moderately difficult, highly trafficked, 4.67-mile in-and-out trail. There are many other trails that intersect Cadillac North Ridge Trail one can choose from for additional hiking options. The path has many good lookout views to the east.

Cadillac Mountain is accessible via:
– Hike Cadillac North Ridge Trail (this post)
– Hike Cadillac West Face Trail
– Hike Cadillac Mountain S Ridge Trail – longest, yet, easiest of hiking trail options
– Hike E Face Dorr Trail to Schiff Path to Gorge Trail
– Drive up to Cadillac Mountain Overlook

An entrance fee is required at Acadia National Park. The automobile permit costs $30 and is valid for seven days. The permit can be purchase in advance at the Acadia National Parks website. For a detailed guide on Acadia, see post Parks – Acadia National Park, ME.


  • Lakes
  • Ocean
  • Good Views
  • Islands
  • Mountains
  • Wild Flowers
  • Wildlife

Table of Contents

Fun Fact(s):


Weather Forecast:

Getting Here:

Below is location of parking lot. Street side parking has only a handful of spots available, recommend getting here early. Click on ‘Directions’ to get a Google Maps route to here.

Official Maps:

Trail Map, Elevation and Statistics

Total distance: 4.86 mi
Max elevation: 1528 ft
Min elevation: 390 ft
Total climbing: 1516 ft

Trail Guide:

  1. [0.0 miles] Trail starts at the back of the parking area across the road
  2. [1.43 miles] While the trail gets near the road, it never crosses the road
  3. [2.24 miles] At peak of Cadillac Mountain. Walk around, enjoy the view. Turn around when done heading back.
  4. [4.67 miles] Finish

When it comes to trail markings, all trails in Acadia National Park are marked the same way. Either the trail is marked with blue or Acadia Bates cairns. It is important to follow the well placed and descriptive trail posts.


Start of the Cadillac North Ridge Trail leading to Cadillac Mountain. The trail heads start is across the street at the back of the street parking area.

View of both the blue trail marker and cairns. These are the only two methods of trail markings. At intersections, Acadia has done a wonderful job naming trails and pointing directions. It is very easy to navigate the park, regardless recommend having a map with you at all times.

It rained the overnight leaving for some great photo opportunities early in the hike before the dew and rain droplets dried off the plants.

Trails at Acadia National Park are well maintained and groomed making relatively easy hikes. Don’t let it fool you, take along a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots as there are steep segments that require a good gripping shoe.

Don’t let the photograph mislead, Acadia is no where near peak foliage at end of August. To the careful eye, there were excellent opportunities to catch the early transition of color such as the one pictured. Acadia National Park fall foliage typically peaks in late September or early October.

View from Cadillac Mountain Overlook. This is facing northeast with a birds-eye view of Bar Harbor. While not the tallest peak at 1530 feet, one can really enjoy the views of the Atlantic, Desert Island, Bar Harbor and so much more.

Another view from Cadillac Mountain Overlook. This one is facing South to South West.

Did not take the proper gear to capture some good birding photographs, Acadia National Park is definitely a place where one can find many different species flying around in the natural habitat. The best views are outside the main tourist zones such as Schoodic Peninsula.

Alternatively, instead of hiking up, one can drive up to Cadillac Mountain for a view. This is a particularly popular option to catch sunrise.

The parking area at Cadillac Mountain Overlook. While the parking lot fills up quickly, it is large and there is a lot of movement, one should be able to find a spot quickly.

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