Cadillac Mountain and its impressive hiking offers pristine views

Located in the Acadia National Park area, Bass Harbor Light offers views of the seaboard off a rock ledge.
Located in the Acadia National Park area, Bass Harbor Light offers views of the seaboard off a rock ledge. /

A trip to Maine isn’t complete without visiting Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

Part of the National Parks system, Cadillac Mountain offers an impressive hiking tail and incrdebile 360 panoramic vistas.

Cadillac Mountain is part of Acadia National Park. It is 1,530 feet high and is the highest point on the North Atlantic coast. It also boasts being the first place to see the sunrise in the United States from October to early March.

There are three ways to get to the top of the mountain. The first is by vehicle. You will need to stop at the Acadia National Park visitors center to get a pass. The drive up to the top is about 3.5 miles of winding and twisting roads. It offers the easiest pathway to the top but there are times that congestion is high, especially in the morning for sunrise. RV are not allowed to make trip to the top.

The other two require you to park and hike. There are two trails, the South Loop and the North trail. The South loop is an 8.1 mile moderate trek that includes a waterfall view. This is an intermediate route that also allows for runners. It is typically the more congested of the two trails.

The North trail is an up and down route with no loop and because of that is a 4.1 mile trip to the top. It features stunning views of Bar Harbor in the distance and a rock staircase that is both intimidating and majestic.

Both trails take you above tree lines and if you pause and listen you can hear the screeching of bald eagles below you. Few things are as impressive as looking down on an eagle flying.

No matter the route you take, the quest is to reach the top. Hikers should take caution though, especially if hiking alone. Two years ago while hiking down the North trail, a rock slid out from under me trapping my ankle. I was unable to walk the trail down and crawled it instead. Thankfully, I was going downhill.

Cadillac Mountain
The town of Bar Harbor, Maine sits along the coast below Cadillac Mountain. /

Acadia National Park also features a driveable road that winds around the coastal edges. Some are tight turns. We took an RV but there were several areas that we needed to avoid due to height limitations and road curvatures.

There are three lighthouses in the Acadia National Park area including Bass Harbor Light which sits on a rocky cliff. You can take a vehicle to the location. There are plenty of camping sites in the area as wel including near the lighthouse which puts you in walking distance.

Thundering Hole sits along the seawall. Named for the thundering sound of waves hitting a shoreline cave forcing air and water out of the top. Sometimes reaching as high as 40 feet in the air, it is a popular tourist destination.

From Acadia, it is a quick trip to Bar Harbor where you can find dining options and also scheduled boating excursions to view the area from the water.

Nothing however beats the top of the mountain. A full 360 degree panoramic view and a sunrise that will blow you away as you watch the giant orange ball creep over the ocean’s horizon.