Bar Harbor - Dorr Mountain - Cadillac Mountain - Bar Harbor

nominally 5-hours

Let's say, you wake up and you're staying in Bar Harbor. No one else wants to hike but you and they are taking the car. I suppose you could take the bus, but here is a "uniquely Acadia" hike for the bold and the strong. Be sure to bring plenty of water.

Finding the trailhead

The trailhead is anywhere on Main Street and go south on Main Street.

Details of the Hike

Type of Hike: Loop
Total Distance: about 8 miles
Vertical up/down: about 1600feet
Rating: Difficult and strenuous

The hike can be taken backwards from what is described here. However, I recommend this way because it is easier and preferable for most hikers to go up a steep trail than down a steep trail. Going in this direction, the hike offers two-steep up climbs and one steep down-climb.

The Views on the Hike

Going South on Main Street for 2.5 miles, you will see a number of old and elegant estates; you will pass Jackson Labs and will get to the Sieur Des Montes entrance to the Park. It is a little confusing. The trail head directing you to Dorr Mountain will take you either to Honan Path or the East face trail. Note: An earthquake in early 2007 damaged Honan Path and it is temporarily closed. So try one of the other ways up Dorr.

Both the Dietrich and the Ladder are excellent ways to go up. All will get you up Dorr. This area of the park has much history to it, with lots of monuments to the early founders and developers and as such are very much in the "uniquely Acadia" realm.

In actuality, any of the trails up Dorr, could be described as "stairmasters". The trails when built, had steps on most major rises, so the upward climb is more by walking up steps than scrambling up an incline.

As you gain altitude, you will see Bar Island and the Porcupine Islands to the North and the east. To the east, the major peak is Champlain and the smaller peak in front of Champlain is called Huguenot Head.

At the signpost, Cadillac is right in front of you. The sign says, Dorr Mt. Summit, 0.25 miles to the south. If this is going to be your only trip up Dorr, it is probably worth the walk. Otherwise, begin a sharp descent into the valley between Cadillac and Dorr. You will cross the Gorge Trail, which changes names to the Murray Young Trail at this point. Just continue up Cadillac. At the summit of Cadillac, follow the path to the right and you will come to the Cadillac North Ridge Trail. The descent down the ridgeline gives a good view of the bridge to the main land, Salisbury and Hull coves and most of the non-Acadia parts of Mt. Desert Island.

At the bottom of the trail, take a left on the Park Loop Road, a right toward the Visitor Center and leave the Park on Route 233. Follow 233 past Kebo Valley Country Club, and follow Mt. Desert Island Road back to Main Street.

Note: There is a very interesting cemetery on the left on Mt. Desert Island Street that is well worth a look.

In Summary

This one is an intense hike that gives a perspective on Mt. Desert Island institutions, cemetery, country club and architecture; in addition to the mountain views so typical of Acadia.
Last update: 7/28/07