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12 BEST Things to Do at Cadillac Mountain in Maine

For thousands of years, humans have been drawn to the summit of what is now known as Cadillac Mountain. This peak towers over Acadia National Park in Maine, rising about 1,500 feet above sea level.

The mountain is famously known as the highest point along the Atlantic Seaboard, and it features some of the most breathtaking vistas of the landscape.

Visiting Cadillac Mountain is a rite of passage for Maine residents and travelers who love exploring national parks. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about reaching the summit of this majestic mountain.

Cadillac Mountain-Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain | photo via

About Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park

The towering peak that rises above Acadia National Park is known as Cadillac Mountain, but it was previously referred to as Green Mountain.

It was once the home of the Wabanaki People, but it was settled by Europeans as early as the 1600s. During that time, the summit played an integral role in mapping the coastline of the region.

By the 19th century, the summit had become a tourist destination — a place that people went to in hopes of seeing one of the spectacular sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean. As a result of over-visiting, the summit was damaged and preservation efforts began during the 20th century.

Today, Cadillac Mountain is a part of Acadia National Park, and it is visited by millions of people each year.

Cadillac Mountain-Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain | photo via treefallsphotography

Things to Do at Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain offers simple joys and a relaxing experience, but don’t expect to enjoy the summit on your own. This popular destination in Acadia National Park attracts millions of people throughout the year.

Enjoy Views From the Summit

The Cadillac Mountain summit is unique because it is easy to reach. Compared to other mountain peaks, which require hikers to be skilled and prepared to reach the top, this summit can be reached by vehicle between May and November. Also, several trails are available for hikers who want to reach the summit on foot.

The best times of day to visit the summit are during sunrise and sunset. Plan to arrive at the summit at least an hour before sunrise or sunset, and keep in mind that these are incredibly popular times.

Parking will be limited, and you will be surrounded by hundreds of people who also want to experience this magical moment.

Walk Along the Cadillac Summit Loop Trail

At the summit, there is a short, paved trail to explore. Along it, you will find interpretive waysides that provide additional information and insight about the mountain, the people who called it home, and the wildlife in the area.

Near the trail, you also will find restrooms and a gift shop, which add to the convenience and appeal of visiting the summit.

Witch Hole Pond loop-Acadia National Park
Witch Hole Pond loop | photo via sassenachandsons

More Things to Do Near Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain is easily one of the most iconic destinations in Acadia National Park. But, there are many other things to do around this beloved natural area.

Embark on a Guided Tour of Acadia National Park

Multiple guided tour options are available to take you into the depths of Acadia National Park on an information-packed adventure. From horse-and-carriage tours to narrated bus tours and ranger-guided bike tours, there are various experiences available for you to choose from.

Go Fishing in the Rivers & Streams Throughout the Park

This national park is known for its diverse fishing options, including warm-water and cold-water fish. It is important to fish in designated areas, and you can find them at several lakes and ponds within the park but also along the ocean shore.

Bike Along Park Loop Road

Park Loop Road spans 27 miles and takes visitors by some of the most famous attractions within Acadia National Park’s boundaries. You can bring your own bike to cruise along this path, or you can rent one in Bar Harbor Maine.

Cadillac Mountain-South Ride Trail-Acadia National Park
South Ridge Trail | photo via cassie.west

View the Wildlife That Call Acadia National Park Home

Many visitors at Acadia National Park find themselves looking toward the coast in hopes of seeing seals in their natural habitat, but one of the best places to glance is up. More than 300 species of birds soar in the skies above this natural area, making it a wonderful bird-watching destination.

Hike the Trails of Acadia National Park

More than 100 miles of trails wind throughout this national park. These trails range from rugged terrains that are best reserved for the most experienced hikers to peaceful, paved trails that can be accomplished by anyone regardless of skill level.

Before you choose a trail, confirm that it suits your personal strength and experience, and make sure that you plan accordingly. This will allow you to safely enjoy the beauty of the trail as you embark on your hike.

Geddy's-Bar Harbor
Geddy’s | photo via thefoodieesq_

Dining Near Cadillac Mountain

The closest restaurants to Cadillac Mountain can be found just a few miles outside of Acadia National Park. Here are a couple of Bar Harbor restaurants to get a bite to eat.

Everyday Joe’s

Everyday Joe’s is a one-stop shop in Bar Harbor that is known for being the most convenient and versatile dining option near the park. Situated on Main Street in downtown, it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a menu filled with hearty meals, convenient sandwiches, and delicious fare.


Geddy’s is a seafood restaurant that serves fresh, sustainably-sourced seafood and offers breathtaking waterfront views. Whether you are looking to nourish yourself before or after your trip to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, this local restaurant in Bar Harbor will satisfy your cravings.

The Inn on Mount Desert
The Inn on Mount Desert | photo via stephencoston

Lodging Near Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain can be reached in a day — but why would you limit your trip to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor Maine to such a short time? A region this beautiful deserves to be explored, so you should stay a little while longer. These are a few of the lodging options near Cadillac Mountain.

The Inn on Mt. Desert

The Inn on Mt. Desert is one of the newest additions to the boutique hotel scene in Bar Harbor Maine. Offering historic appeal and modern amenities, this inn is perfectly situated in the heart of the city’s downtown area while being only 1 mile from the entrance to Acadia National Park.

Guests appreciate that they can relax and enjoy the view from the front porch that stretches along the building. Also while staying here, you can walk just a few minutes to the waterfront.

Blackwoods Campground

If you are the type who loves to camp, then Blackwoods Campground is the best place to stay during your trip to Acadia National Park. Located inside the park’s boundaries, it is easily the closest lodging option to Cadillac Mountain.

Most of the campsites at this campground are tent sites, but a few RV spots are available. All of the campsites must be reserved in advance.

Ocean View Chalet Vacation Rental

Many vacation rentals are available in Bar Harbor and the region surrounding Acadia National Park, including this Ocean View Chalet rental.

Situated on a private, wooded lot overlooking the bay, this rental features three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It’s the perfect home-like setting for your trip to Cadillac Mountain.

Cadillac Mountain-Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain | photo via shail._.soni

FAQs About Cadillac Mountain

Can Cadillac Mountain be reached by vehicle?

Yes, Cadillac Mountain can be reached by vehicle between April and November each year.

However, you need to make a vehicle reservation if you intend to visit the summit between late May and late October. Vehicle reservations can be purchased in advance online.

What is the weather like at the Cadillac Mountain summit?

It can be difficult to predict and anticipate weather conditions at the Cadillac Mountain summit because they can change rapidly and without notice.

Regardless of the season, you can expect conditions to be cold, wet, windy, or foggy.

You may find that the weather is distinctly different between the summit and Park Loop Road, so it is important to come prepared with warm weather gear just in case.

Is Cadillac Mountain the first place in the United States where you can see the sunrise?

It is true that Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the country to experience the sunrise each day, but only during a specific time of year.

You can experience the first sunrise in the United States when you visit the summit between early October and early March.

Cadillac Mountain-Acadia National Park-fall
Cadillac Mountain | photo via gusdoyon

Discover the Beauty of Downeast From Atop Cadillac Mountain

When you reach the summit of Cadillac Mountain, take a moment to absorb the beauty that surrounds you. You will likely share that moment with others, but by remaining present and focusing on the view in front of you, you can capture a memory that is yours and yours alone.

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