Hancock County Highpoint Trip Report

Cadillac Mtn (1,530+ feet)

Date: June 3, 2010
Author: Roy Wallen

Maine State Completion

I decided to complete the whole hike on foot rather than drive to a trailhead. The day was a nice one for walking but not for seeing anything. It was foggy and windy in town with temperatures in the middle 60s.

From the center of Bar Harbor, I proceeded south on Main Street to Cromwell Harbor Drive. Turned right onto Cromwell Harbor Drive to Kebo Drive and then left to Park Loop Road. I turned right, walking against the flow of traffic on the loop road, until I reached the Strath Eden Trail. Headed up the relatively flat Strath Eden Trail to the Hemlock Trail, onto which I turned right and started to ascend. At the end of the Hemlock Trail, I turned right onto the Gorge trail and followed the gorge up the (fortunately) dry stream bed. At the top of the gorge, the Cadillac-Dorr trail appeared on the right and I took it the last 0.5 mile to the summit.

Once on the ledges, the rain started, the fog got thicker, and the wind picked up. I estimated 30 mph winds on the open ledges with about 30 feet of visibility. On the ledges, I lost the marked trail marked with blue blazes and cairns but was able to follow my GPS bearing through the mist. I reached the parking lot (nearly literally stumbled on it) and still followed the GPS toward the summit. Through the mist, I saw the summit center and stopped into get my bearings and enjoy a warm, dry spot.

Left the summit center and made my way the remaining hundred feet or so to the true summit. Wandered around in the mist and rain for a while in the hope of touching the actual highpoint. The best-effort rule needed to be applied here.

I did not want to descend through the steep and rocky gorge where the rocks would be slippery so I got a recommendation from a ranger at the summit center to take the Cadillac Mountain North Ridge trail (which must be the record length for a trail name) down the 2.2 miles to the park road. Fortunately, the rain eased as I descended and had almost stopped by the time I reached the Park Loop Road. Following this road with the traffic - and thankful for my bright red shell I returned Kebo Drive and retraced my steps back to the center of town.

Estimated mileage was about 10 miles total (about half of which was on National Park trails); total time was about 5 hours, including quite a bit of time at the top.