If you have ever hiked or driven to the summit of Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park, you are familiar with the breathtaking views -- and the crowds. One way to beat the crowds? Hike in December!
While the Park Loop Road is closed at this time of year, you can still access the South Ridge Trail which starts on Route 3, near the Blackwoods campground. The trail head is on the opposite side of the road, just a couple hundred feet from the campground entrance.
We did this hike on Sunday, December 11 and chose it specifically because, as a ridge trail, you are out in the open (and thus warmed by the sun) for most of the hike. Given the time of year, you have to expect a bit of ice, and we did encounter icy spots, but they were easy to work around. With an elevation just over 1500 feet, Cadillac is accessible to anyone who can handle a moderate hike. The ascent is fairly gradual and the trail is wide enough to walk to abreast in most places.