Cadillac Mountain West Face Trail


Phew! It doesn’t take that long to get to the top of Cadillac Mountain when you hike this route, and it also doesn’t take long for you to realize that you are going to get a decent workout! As with most things of any value though, there is a give and take… this time in return for the effort expended going up so sharply, the early views from the trail across Eagle Lake and off toward Blue Hill were breathtaking.

With Lori and Jack enjoying Storyland and Santa’s Village in New Hampshire with the cousins Chloe and Isaiah, Sam and I decided to pull on the hiking shoes once again and head down to Acadia. We wanted to hike, but we also wanted Rosalie’s Pizza… nuff said. I gave Sam the task of deciding where we would hike… my only stipulations were that it had to be a loop hike where we don’t come back the way we went, and that we get to see something new.

He chose to create his own little loop where we started at the Bubble Pond parking lot going up – and I mean up – the Cadillac West Face Trail until we met the South Ridge Trail. From there we made a left turn and proceeded the rest of the way to the top of Cadillac – it took us about an hour total from the parking lot at Bubble Pond to the top of Cadillac. We stayed only a few minutes atop Cadillac before retracing our steps down part of the South Ridge Trail toward the Featherbed, a pretty little mountain pond tucked into a small dip on Cadillac. After stopping to recharge the batteries and water the horses one last time, we made a right turn just before the Featherbed and descended off the mountain via the also steep – and tricky – (Jordan) Pond Trail.

As always, I thoroughly enjoyed this hike. There is something about being on top of one of the long mountain ridges in Acadia. I am always fascinated by the glacial erratics strewn all over the place, the combination of warm summer sun and cool breezes is refreshing, and of course, the views are to die for. The South Ridge Trail of Cadillac is fast becoming one of my all-time favorites. It is relatively long for Acadia, but the gentle sloping granite ridge that winds its way to the summit has so much to offer.

As we came down the Pond Trail toward Bubble Pond, the evening had already begun the transition to twilight. Never having been to the far end of Bubble Pond, we stopped along the shore to soak in the view. Rosalie’s was the usual source of pizza extraordinaire – our favorite delicious thin crust, New York style pizza in Bar Harbor, Maine… a great way to round off the day.


8 thoughts on “Cadillac Mountain West Face Trail

  1. Oh, beautiful Cadillac Mt. pictures! Very familiar sights. I first did Cadillac with my son, Max, about four years ago, the year I met Steve (my partner), and again with Steve this past spring. On the trip with Max, we started very early in the morning to catch the first dawn of the East coast. The problem was, it was foggy, and we had some rain. We put on our rain gear and kept going. Suddenly, the rain came down harder and we just looked at each other and laughed. We kept going. Then we heard the thunder! We took shelter for a while under a typical short bunch of trees, and decided it wasn’t so bad. We made it to the top around sunrise, only, there was nothing to see through the fog. We were the first people there that morning, and we used the hand dryers in the bathrooms in a feeble attempt to dry out our boots.

    We also found out he left the trail mix back at camp!

    My hike up there with Steve this year was easier for me since I’m not so new at hiking any more, but I loved every minute of the trip with Max. He’s now 24 and living and climbing (literally) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as daily as possible.

    • David Patterson

      Great story Beth. It was nice to be bathed in sunshine this time around, but we have also been up on the mountain in fog. It brings a totally different feel to the experience, but no matter what the weather, you can’t beat hiking in Acadia!

    • David Patterson

      Brooke… one of the nice things about hiking in Acadia is that on many of the trails you get almost a 360 degree view of he Atlantic Ocean and mountains galore! Lynn Fantom ( sums it up well when she described Mount Desert Island… “Imagine 24 mountain peaks on an island the size of Martha’s Vineyard. That’s Maine’s Mount Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park, where the mountains meet the sea.”

  2. Joe Iasso

    This trail is beautiful, but I just hiked down it after a long week of rain, and it was very dangerous. I had to crawl across steep and wet rocks, and I had a few heart-stopping slips. So, if you plan to take this trail, make sure it’s dry before hiking, especially when going down.

    • David Patterson

      Joe… when I was on this trail I was going up and it was dry and hot, but I can imagine how dangerous it might be when wet and slippery, especially coming down. Your advice on making good decisions about conditions is spot on – many people don’t really think of the mountains in Acadia being all that high, but the 1,000 ft or so in elevation that you gain on the west side of Cadillac in only half a mile can be quite challenging.

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