Headed up the South Ridge Trail of Cadillac today via Route 3 just after the Blackwoods campground on the right. This was a gradual incline, a little over 7 mile hike up and back. We started out early from Bangor as we didn't know what to expect for time. Some reports say easy trail, kid friendly, others say difficult. Most documented said it takes approx. 4-5 hours round trip. We climbed Dorr last year and was intrigued to hike up Cadillac this year. We are doing it early before the bugs get thick. We enjoy hiking at Acadia more in the spring time before it gets too warm, We hit the trailhead today at 7AM. The trail consisted of foot paths, wood boardwalks, rocks cliffs and stairs. There were many hilltops to climb and valley too. At about 1 mile we took the fork in the road toward the Eagles crag path 1/2 mile to view the cliff side lookout and see if we could see some eagles. We didn't see eagles but we did see two falcons. Continuing along a little over a mile more we stopped at the Featherbed pond for a break. The Featherbed pond is a glacier cirque. Cirques are mountain valley heads that have been shaped into deep hollows and are formed when small glaciers erode. The peepers and frogs were going crazy. Very relaxing and peaceful. Going straight from there we came to a post sign for the West Face Trail, one that I read recently was the most difficult to go up to Cadillac. The one we chose today was the longest trail to the summit. After going a little less than a mile more I found what I thought was the hardest part of the trail because this is where the trail gets steepest and more rocks to climb. Seems I was the only one that had a problem with it though because people were passing me left and right and jogging up that part of the trail no problem. Pretty fit I would say and probably not their first time. While I was taking a break I watched one person head down the trail going toward Featherbed at a jog and when she got to me a mile or so later heading up to the summit she was still jogging...I told her I thought she was amazing. She didn't stop but as she passed by she said she was "beginning to feel the burn! I felt the burn after we got out of the truck and started climbing the steps just to get on our way. I was totally impressed that she wasn't breathing hard and had no problem talking as she jogged by. Looking up to the summit I saw many people walking around on the cliffs and was thinking everyone had the same idea as we did today, to hike Cadillac and then I saw what looked like shiny flashes every now and then when the sun rays reflected off something shiny. As we got closer I saw that they were cars. No wonder the cliffs were full of people. Another .1 miles and we found ourselves on the trail close by the auto road. We could have taken the Overlook path onto the auto road but we chose to head via the trail and came out just behind the gift shop. It was a little wet and slippery going because it was shady there so still had snow and ice in spots...and water everywhere else. That was the only snow we saw all day. We were looking all over for the summit sign for a picture in front of it and asked someone along the way where it was. We would never have found it if he hadn't pointed it out to us as it is just a green round dome in the ground in back of the gift shop close to where we reached the top. The gift shop was still closed today as well as the restrooms...how I would have like to use the restroom...but they did open up the gates so that people can enjoy the park via vehicles for the next two weekends free of charge. Dave and I found a neat place to sit and have our lunch before heading back down the mountain. Heading down was no problem. I had it together by then and we made it back to the truck in no time at all. The round trip took us seven hours. Dave could have made it in the 4-5 hours that is mentioned but with me I took my time and also allotted for picture taking so took a little bit longer today. This was a nice hike and we will do it again, just not next weekend..
1 mile in we took a left to the Eagle's Crag, for a possible sighting for a Falcon or Eagle in flight. Didn't see one today.
A little scrambling on the rocks...the view was amazing
Dave and I sat for a bite at the Featherbed pond.
leaving the featherbed behind just about half way to Cadillac summit
Back into the woods heading to the summit
The featherbed and mountain top we climbed to get to where we were at...always seems to be another valley and hill ahead of us
Finally made it to the summit. We were looking for a post marker but none to be found. Then we were told by another hiker the summit marker is right here.
having some lunch and then we will make our way back down the mountain. What a great day!