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At 1,532 feet, Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park is the highest point in Hancock County, and the highest within 25 miles (40 km) of the coastline of the Eastern United States. It is also the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6. It is one of 17 mountains on Mount Desert Island, Maine, that were pushed up by earth's tectonic and volcanic forces millions of years ago. Were it not for the once huge glaciers that sheared off their tops, they would be even higher than what you see today.
Cadillac Mountain is largely composed of pink granite with forests of spruce and pitch pine. Views of Acadia National Park from the top of the mountain are spectacular. On the northwestern side you will see Eagle Lake, Western Bay, and further inland. To the south, you will see the Cranberry Islands. To the northeast lies Bar Harbor, the Porcupine Islands, Bar Island, and in the distance, Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland. On a clear day, it is possible to see Mount Katahdin, Maine's highest mountain, to the north and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia to the east, both over one hundred miles away.
The winding and scenic road that ascends to the top of Cadillac Mountain is approximately 3.5 miles long and was officially opened in 1931. During the 1880's, there was a slow cog railway excursion to the summit. But unfortunately, due to a much faster descent, it was short lived. In 1895, the cog train was sold and moved to a mountain in New Hampshire. There are also various hiking trails to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, some more challenging than others. If you are not an early riser, the view of the sunset is beautiful, but to avoid crowds it is worth getting up for the sunrise.
Cadillac Mountain is also known as a great place to watch for hawks in the fall, which are migrating south for the winter. So if you are a bird watching, or just simply appreciate nature, make sure to include Cadillac Mountain as one of your stops while visiting Acadia National Park.