Hadlock Pond & Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain – Acadia National Park

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The day of our hike around Hadlock Pond started off chilly and a little dreary – personally I think that’s some of the best hiking weather ever.
I bundled up in the Mountain Time sweatshirt (because let’s be honest, it’s the best sweatshirt to hike in!) and pulled up Joe’s Guide to the area again (just like we did with Jordan Pond) because he seems to have the best insight on the trails. I’m not sure that we followed his advice fully; we actually found a pull off on the main road and a small entrance to one of the trails and just started hiking around. To say its was beautiful would be an understatement.
The trail we found ourselves wasn’t difficult although there were a few upward slopes that had my heart rate going a little and a few times I had to strip off my sweatshirt to cool off. It was incredibly quiet, probably because we started hiking around 3:30/4:00pm and the trails were rather empty.

One of the best things that ended up happening while on this hike was killing two birds with one stone. Meaning, I was able to accidentally cross two things off of our list when we stumbled onto part of the Carriage Roads and were able to see the gorgeous bridges (and have an easier walk back to the trail head). It was nice to just walk in the quiet of the forest with Eddie and have that true one-on-one time in Gods creation. This is definitely a trail I wouldn’t want to miss if we went back (or were going for the first time) and man, I can only imagine how gorgeous it would be in the fall!

Mountain Time Sweatshirt c/o
Between The Pines Tee c/o
Lava Bead Essential Oil Necklace c/o
He Moves Mountains Sticker

Sunrise on top of Cadillac Mountain was an absolute must for us.
We woke up at 4:30AM and left the Motel by 4:45 to get up to the mountain early and claim our spot on the top.
When we got there I was kind of in shock at how many people were already there and how absolutely freezing it was; we should have brought a blanket, or three.
I honestly thought that on an early morning there wouldn’t be so many people but as the time started to get closer to sunrise I remember turning around and being absolutely FLOORED at how many were behind us.

I’ve seen many sunrises in my life, but there are truly few more beautiful places to watch a day start than the top of a mountain. There is a hike that people do leading up to the sunrise (that if you start in time it will get you on top of the mountain as the sun is cresting) but we didn’t feel like starting at 3:00AM when we had a long day ahead of us. We ended up leaving right after the sun crested to get a jump start on the traffic, there had to have been close to 600 people there by the time we left.
The sunrise was captivating and I am really happy that we did go to watch it, however I have a few tips if you’re ever wanting to do this:

  1. Arrive early. Seriously early & bring some blankets just in case.
  2. Sit lower on the mountain, or even go off to one of the sides. There ended up being so many people sitting next to us and in front of us talking and being loud that it took away from the quiet beauty that a sunrise holds. It really ruined the moment for us.
  3. PARK IN THE PARKING LOT. Do not be one of the people to park on the side, you may not be able to get out (trust us). Which means you need to get there early.
  4. Be courteous to other people around you, don’t hoop and holler and talk loudly – it kills the moment.
  5. Unless you plan to just wait on the mountain forever (or do a hike right afterwards on some of the trails), leave right after you see the sun crest. Traffic is a nightmare getting off the mountain during high tourist season.


We ended up going back to the Motel to nap for another hour since we planned to do a hike and kayak later in the day (we were able to see the sun rise on top of the mountain and the sun set on the water in a kayak, it was glorious!)

Other Acadia Posts

Where we stayed – Bar Harbor Maine

Where we ate – Bar Harbor Maine

Jordan Pond – Acadia National Park