Ladder Trail

Ladder Trail granite stepsOne of our top favorites, the Ladder Trail offers spectacular views and adds the challenge of scrambling up granite rocks with the aid of iron rungs in the rock – hence the name “Ladder Trail”.  This trail was built in 1893 and was designed to provide beautiful views while traversing up the steep side of Dorr Mountain.  The trail starts with a steep ascent up many stone steps through beautiful woods.  There are several iron rungs near the top, and at one point, it is necessary to squeeze through a narrow passage between two granite rocks.

Betsy climbing the iron rungs

Betsy climbing the iron rungs

Along the top of the trail, there are nice views of Bar Harbor and the Porcupine Islands.  It is fun to look across to look for hikers making their way up Champlain Mountain.  The trail descends back down through the woods to the tarn, a lake that is gradually turning into a meadow.  There are many boulders to climb upon along the path next to the tarn that completes the loop.

  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
  • approximate distance: 5.5 miles
  • type: Loop trail
  • Starting point: The Tarn on Rt 3

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