Hiking Cadillac Mountain in the Winter

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During summer time to get to the top of Cadillac Mountain is no challenge because you can just simply drive to the top. During the winter months, Acadia National Park closes the road to the top of the mountain so that the only way to make it up is to hike. Before hiking the mountain, we thought it would be a total of four miles max round trip. The hike ended up being about 7 miles round trip and took us about four hours. The hike up the mountain was the toughest part of the trip because of the ice and steep incline. The path is still well marked even in the winter and easy to follow. With all of the ice, we had to make a couple of detours to avoid slipping back down the mountain or hurting ourselves. We also started our hike at 5 am making it dark and the trail hard to follow. Although, the trip back down was much easier because we were able to sit and slide down when there were large ice patches. Our only issue with not knowing where we were going during the hike was when we would reach the top. Multiple times we thought we had made it to the top when we then realized the hiking path continued. The photo in the right corner is from one of the spots where we stopped thinking we had possibly made it to the top. The full moon was beautiful and helped us to find our way up the mountain in the darkness. When you eventually make it to the top, you will know from the roped off areas and the parking area. The view at the top of the mountain was amazing and definitely worth the long trip up. We couldn't stay at the top very long because of the extreme cold and wind on the day we hiked. We immediately started to lose feeling in our fingers and toes, so we only stayed for about 10 minutes.  The photo on the far left was taken of Nick and me at the top of the mountain with the sunrise just behind us. The photo in the middle was taken by Nick when we were almost at the top of the mountain and the sun coming through the trees was beautiful. The last photo is of us walking on the road where you can usually drive up the mountain. You can see why they close the road because of all of the ice and snow covering it. 

After the hike, we were all exhausted, but the trip up the mountain was totally worth it and one of the best experiences of our lives. Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the United States where you can see the sunrise. We were able to hike the mountain the morning of January 2nd making us one of the first people in the United States to see the sunrise in 2018. It was a great start to the new year, and I can't wait to travel even more throughout the year. 

All landscape photos taken by Nick Koehler