Reservation Required: Starting in 2021, if you're accessing this trail from Sand Beach you will need a reservation to use a private vehicle to enter the Sand Beach Entrance Station from mid-June to mid-October.
Gorham Mountain Loop provides an excellent overview of what Acadia has to offer on this beautiful hike. Rocky coastline, Cadillac looming in the distance, and a panoramic view of ocean drive await those who hikes this loop. Enjoy a taste of history on this hike with a plaque dedicated to Waldron Bates. Bates was a visionary when it came to outdoor recreation and many trails in the park exist because of his dedication.
- Distance: 3.5 mile round trip. Choosing to do the Cadillac Cliff trail section does not change the distance only changes the difficulty.
- Terrain and Safety: The trail is rocky with uneven footing. Good foot wear is recommended. The Cadillac Cliff trail section does involve rungs and ladders. Caution is advised during inclement weather.
- The hike begins at the southwest corner of the Gorham Mountain parking lot. Look for a large stump with Gorham Mountain trail carved into it.
- Follow the trail gradually up granite slab 0.2 miles until the trail intersects with Cadillac Cliff Trail. This is also where the Bates plaque resides. Continue left to remain on the Gorham Mountain loop hike.
- To the right is the Cadillac Cliff trail. This 0.3 mile section goes along old sea cliffs. The trail does have rungs and ladders to assist hikers over rock scrambles. It finishes with a steep granite stair climb where it returns back to the Gorhman Mountain loop.
- The trail begins to involve rocky uneven surfaces and it continues 0.3 miles until it meet up with the Cadillac Cliff trail again.
- From this intersection the trail continues another 0.4 mile to the summit of Gorham Mountain. Be aware that a couple hundred feet from the summit is a false summit. Beautiful views but to continue the loop keep following the trail until you reach the summit marker.
- Past the summit the trail descends down rocky terrain 0.5 miles until it reaches the Bowl trail. Head right on the bowl trail 0.5 miles where it will come out at the entrance to Sand Beach.
- Cross the crosswalk safely and walk to the end of the upper Sand Beach parking lot. Here the Ocean Path trail will follow the coastline 0.7 miles to Thunder Hole.
- Keep on the Ocean Path trail after Thunder Hole for another 0.3 miles. Be looking for a stump with Gorham Mountain carved into it. Cross the crosswalk safely to the Gorham Mountain parking lot to finish the hike.
Be aware the Cadillac Cliff trail addition on this hike does involve rungs and ladders.
Trail Safety Tips
- Check trail elevation profile or topographic map before hiking.
- Bring a map, water, snacks, compass, and extra layers for unpredictable changes in weather.
- Reduce the chance of picking up ticks by staying in the center of the trail, and not stepping on soils and away from brush.
- Always do a tick check after visiting the park.
- Closed-toe, good traction shoes recommended because most trail surfaces are very unlevel.
Last updated: October 27, 2020