QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 47,000 acres
- Trail Mileage: Many possibilities
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: moderate to challenging
- Sights: views
Map displays the peaks of Cadillac, Dorr, and Kebo, along with Eagles Crag (the red pins mark their summits).
Like the rest of the mountains in Acadia, there are several routes you can choose to summit Dorr Mountain, a 1,265-foot mountain on the east side of Mount Desert Island. The mountain lies on a north-south axis, which means that if you descend down the south side you will have the magnificent views of the sea in front of you. The summit has good views, including over to the summit of neighboring Cadillac Mountain, where in high season, you can usually see many people walking around.
You can approach Dorr Mountain from every direction. One of the more popular ways is from the east, up the steep 0.4-mile Ladder Trail, where you’ll encounter ladders and rungs. It’ll bring you to the Schiff Path, which deposits you at the summit in 0.5 miles. You can avoid the Ladder by taking the alternate routes of Emery, Homans, or Kurt Diederich Paths to Schiff Path. These four trails, which hug the side of Dorr, are wonderful destinations in their own right, with views from relatively low elevations. They have many stone steps, and Homans and Emery have other interesting stonework features, like narrow passageways between boulders. They will bring you to the summit in 1 mile to 1.5 miles, depending on your route.
All of the eastern approaches are short and steep. If you’re starting at Sieur de Monts (a good place to start!), you can also walk the 0.5-mile Kane Path alongside the pretty Tarn at the bottom of the mountain. The trail by the water’s edge is flat but stony in sections, especially near the southern end. It starts out packed gravel at the northern end. So while it is easy, it is not wheelchair accessible. It brings you to the Ladder Trail.
If you approach Dorr from the north, the most direct route up is the Gorge Path for a 1.7-mile hike to the summit. Unfortunately, the parking is quite limited here—just about four spaces. And once you’ve arrived there via the one-way Park Loop Road, you can’t return to the previous trailhead at the base of Cadillac North Ridge Trail where there is more parking. So you could start at Cadillac and walk over to Gorge via Kebo Mountain Trail, adding 0.8 miles to your hike. Additionally, you can pick up the trail a bit farther south, from Kebo Mountain Trail or Strathedan Trail.
The north side of the Gorge Path has some very pretty sections where the trail is lined with stones. It ascends gradually until it reaches the A. Murray Young Path at 1.5 miles. At this point, Gorge Path continues up to Cadillac Mountain. You can turn left to reach Dorr Mountain summit in 0.3 miles.
The 1.2-mile stretch along the A. Murray Young Trail, which has some steep sections closer to the top of the mountain, lies in a nice valley.
Another nice way to summit Dorr is by parking at the trailhead for Canon Brook Trail on Route 3. You’ll hike along the flattish Canon Brook Trail for 0.9 miles before intersecting with Dorr South Ridge Trail, which brings you along the ridge for 1.4 miles to the summit through scraggly pitch pine forest and over ledge. You might want to descend the Dorr North Ridge Trail, 0.8 miles, for some great views of Bar Harbor, both the town and the body of water! Then you can head back along the Hemlock Trail to Kane Path and Tarn Trail. Or, conversely, do this loop in the opposite direction!
Directions: There are several places to leave a car and pick up the trails to Dorr Mountain’s summit. One place is to start at the Sieur de Monts and hike up Emery, Homans, or Diederich to Schiff Path and over to Dorr for a wonderful hike. Another two places for year-round parking are on the shoulder of Route 3 just south of The Tarn. At the first of the two, you can pick up the Ladder Trail directly, and at the second, you can hike the Tarn Trail a short distance over to the Ladder, or, alternatively, summit Dorr from the south via Canon Brook Trail to Dorr South Ridge Trail.