It’s no secret that Acadia National Park is one of our favorite destinations. Willow has been hiking there since she was a kid thanks to her parents who got her hooked on ocean views and granite ridges at a young age. This story is from Willow, on one of her solo hikes.
Even though the options are limitless in the park, I keep being drawn to a route that that provides for a scenic loop on Cadillac Mountain featuring Canon Brook Trail and the Gorge Path.You can approach this loop from many different spots, but I always park at the Tarn off of Route 3 just past Sieur De Monts. From the parking lot, head down to the Tarn, cross the stream that runs from this glacial pool and take a left onto the Kane Path which follows along the boulder strewn slide on the eastern slopes of Dorr Mountain. You follow this trail for about two miles to where it intersects with Canon Brook Trail and the first of many pools.
I adore running water, how it sounds, how it shapes the rock and landscape and Canon Brook Trail provides no shortage of running water, cascades and pools. This trail starts gradually, but then ascends steeply up water covered ledges. After crisscrossing the brook, you connect with the Featherbed on Cadillac’s South Ridge Trail. This is a great place for a break before the final gradual ascent to Cadillac’s summit.
I prefer to hike Cadillac in the spring, fall and winter when there are fewer people at the summit so you can enjoy the views without the added distraction of cars and crowds. On a clear day in winter, you can see snow covered Mount Katahdin from the summit of Cadillac along with the peaks of the Schoodic Peninsula. From the summit, you head toward the Gorge Path which falls between Cadillac and Dorr.
The Gorge Path doesn’t disappoint with cascades, flowing water, stone steps and steep ledges lining the side of the mountains. This is a beautiful trail in the fall with foliage and falling leaves. After about 1.5 miles you come upon the Hemlock Trail on the right that loops back to Sieur De Monts via the Stratheden Path. The Emery Path brings you back to the parking area above the Tarn to complete this 6+ mile loop.
I highly recommend this route for a varied and challenging loop up Acadia’s tallest mountain.
Love and Light from Maine –