South Ridge Trail, Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park
Ryan and I hiked the South Ridge trail up Cadillac Mountain today. The roughly 3.5 mile trail climbs gradually up to the summit, starting initially through a wooded forest before opening up to an expansive open rock area. There was still ice on parts of the trail, but for the most part we were able to ascend without using ice cleats. Interestingly, the hardest part of the hike, requiring a bit of rock scrambling and having the most ice, occurred almost near the summit and immediately after seeing the road for the first time.
It was amazing to be at the top of Cadillac Mountain with no cars and only a handful of other people there, all of whom had hiked up.
We descended using the Cadillac Mountain Road and then traveled along a combination of flat trails and the closed Park Loop Road to return to the trailhead. This was significantly longer but the 13 mile hike allowed Ryan to complete a requirement for the hiking merit badge.