I have a few questions concerning Acadia and Cadillac Mountain. My family and I will be going to Acadia for the first time next weekend. It will also be my first time going there. We would like to hike to the summit of Cadillac Mountain but I am still carrying my son on my back most hikes and he is about 35lbs and 3 years old on top of that add lunches, camera equipment and water I am probably close to 60lbs. My son also likes to hike quite a bit himself, infact he can hike a good 1 mile up a moderate trail and the about halfway back down before he gets tired. Only reason I carry him most times is he likes to stop and look at everything and a 2 hour trip will quickly turn into a 4 hour trip.
I was just wondering which woul be the easiest trail up, although I would like to take the precipice trail, unfortunatley I will have to wait until my kids are much older!
Also what is the round trip hiking time? And what trails offer the best scenery?
Finally I know that it is the first place to see the sunrise in the US between October and March, so how are the sunrises in August?
Any other suggestions would be great....We will only be there for a short time and want to make the most out of our trip...
Oh yeah, one final question, without stops about how long is the drive between Portland and Bar Harbor using Route 1....
We've been to Acadia for a week each of the last three summers. The hiking is all fantastic. We've now done just about every mountain in the park except Cadillac. We've driven up it many times (and I always get up there once for sunrise each trip). Just don't have the desire to hike it and get to a summit with a road and a bunch of people on the top vs. all the other great peaks and trails. Here are my trip reports from the last couple of years. Maybe will give you some ideas. As for the sunrises in August, check my pics in the links below.
As far as the drive from Portland it greatly depends on the traffic. With no traffic (very uncommon any time in the summer) It should be about 3-1/2 hours going either Rt 1 or taking 95 to Bangor and down to Elsworth from there (which is the way we usually go). Rt 1 is likely to take much longer, particularly on a weekend. Best to count on 5 hours and be pleasantly surprised if it takes less.
If you're looking for any other specific info on Acadia send me a PM and I'll help wherever I can. BTW - Acadia is our favorite place to hike of anywhere we've ever been (including the Whites) and I guarantee you'll love it!!!
My wife and I just got back from vacationing in Bar Harbor a couple weeks ago. We did one day of hiking in Acadia. We didn't hike Cadillac Mountain for the same reason that MTruman mentioned below and there are plenty of summits without auto parking. We did however drive up to Cadillac Mountain for the sunrise. I'm assuming the sunrise will be just as good in August as it was in July. We were very happy with it, although you will be sharing it with at least 100 other people...it gets crowded, even that early.
We did a loop hike from the Sandy Beach parking area, up the Beehive and down to Gorham Mountain, and then up the Ocean Path, past Thunder Hole. Now, the route we took up the Beehive was vertical up cliffs and steel rungs. Not the best route with a child on your back. But there is a much more moderate trail around the back side to the top, which would be more than manageable. From the Beehive, you can also go to Champlain Mountain which I think is a bit higher in elevation. I'm assuming you can make a loop back to the parking area from this peak as well. Check out my posting on my trip below. I hope you have fun. It is a beautiful park.
One more quick thing. I'm not sure if you have a map yet or not. If you invest in one, I suggest the "Map Adventures" Acadia map over the AMC map. I wish I had that one (but had the AMC one). It has a better handle on mileage from junction to junction. Plenty of sports/hiking stores in downtown Bar Harbor sell it. Just my two cents on the map!
Last edited by KSearl; 07-31-2010 at 12:10 PM.
Having hiked up Cadillac many times over the past 20 years, the South Ridge, North Ridge and West Ridge trails, your best bet would be the South Ridge Trail.
It's a little further mileage wise (3.5 one way) but it offers a pleasant, gradual ascent to Cadillac. After the first 1.2 miles it's pretty easy on the long granite slabs that offer fabulous views all the way to the summit. You may also want to check out our report from our June trip on page 2 of the General Discussion.
As far as a route to Bar Harbor; I would agree with Mark that I-95 to Bangor then 1A to Ellsworth would be much quicker unless you want to stop along a few of the coastal towns along Route 1.
Hope you have great weather and a fun weekend in Acadia!
Last edited by Jimmy Legs and Little d; 08-01-2010 at 08:05 PM.
Just another suggestion for a different auto route-- I 95 to AUGUSTA then Route 3 to Belfast, up to Ellsworth from Belfast on 1.
I'd NOT recommend US 1 all the way up to BH from Portland to my worst enemy. UGGGGGGGGGGGGGH that's like chinese water torture in the summer time. Going through every. little.tourist.town.traffic.jam. EW! Waste of a whole day IMHO, especially with little ones in the car. What can be " fun" about spending 45 minutes trying to navigate through Camden in high summer traffic other that it will be lather, rinse, repeat of a half dozen OTHER traffic jams?
Sorry. Hate to rain on anyones parade.
Belfast to Ellsworth is a nice taste of the Coastal Route/Penobscot River area , moves along fairly well and AVOIDS the Bangor to Ellsworth 1-A reconstruction.
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Had a feeling we'd be hearing from you on this thread Donna. Good suggestions.
I also agree with Breeze's suggestion on the Belfast route. While we haven't done that as a complete route to Bar Harbor from home we've stayed in Belfast several times (getting there via the 95 to Augusta and Rt 3 to Belfast) and have driven to Bar Harbor going up Rt 1 on each of those stays. The Belfast to Bar Elsworth drive is really nice. The rest of Rt 1 south of Belfast also has some really nice areas, but needs to be taken in very small doses...
Mark, you know me too well when it comes to Acadia!
Oops! I had forgotten that we have taken the route Breeze suggested in the past.
Last edited by Jimmy Legs and Little d; 08-04-2010 at 03:19 PM.