HIke the Dorr Mountain Loop via the Tarn Trail

Rate this Adventure Sieur de Monts Nature Center

The Door Mountain Loop hike takes you along a glacier lake and the summit of one of the highest mountains in Acadia National Park. The hike is a bit strenuous but only 4.75 miles.

This hike starts from the parking lot of Sieur de Monts Nature Center parking lot, walking on the Wild Gardens Path to the Tarn Trail.  This is a section of the Kane Path so you will not see any mention of a Tarn Trail on the maps for Acadia National Park. The trail runs right along the lake edge which is very rocky the entire length. However, the park service has done a great job moving large rocks to make the trail easy to hike. Tarn is a glacial lake situated between Dorr Mountain and Huguenot Head (a slightly small mountain). The lake is much longer than it is wide and Route 3 passes by between the lake and Huguenot Head. So you can hear traffic pass by during your time at the lake.

The Kane Path starts at the north end of The Tarn.  The Kane Path is 1.5 miles long and goes past The Tarn for about .5 miles. From there, traveling south, the trail passes several small ponds and meadows. The park service has constructed a plank system so this section is fine, even in wet weather. The trail will pass the East Face trail for Dorr Mountian and the Ladder Trail. Continue on the Kane trail until it eventually climbs up and reaches a
trail junction with the Dorr Mountain South Ridge Trail. 

This trail is about 1.3 miles long and ends on the summit of Dorr Mountain. The trail is a steady climb. Most of the way is exposed with only some brush and small pines lining the way. Bates Cairns are used frequently on this trail so keep an eye out for them.  After rain, even rain the day before, there is a lot of seepage running down
the slick rock of the mountain. There is quite a lot of this. Beware, these areas are very slippery. Temperature not withstanding. It was 60 degrees out, sunny and I had sturdy hiking boots on and still I slipped more than I would like. It is easy to misjudge the angle of the slope so
be careful when walking over water on the rocks. 

The summit of Dorr Mountain is 1270 feet high and has great views of Bar Harbor to the east and Cadillac Mountain to the immediate west. There is an unfortunate
pile of rocks marking the summit with signs pointing the direction of different trails. The pile of rocks is large and overkill. This is obviously not done by the park service.

To descend, take the Dorr Mountain North Ridge Trail. It is much different than the South Ridge trail. While the south ridge trail has great views and a gradual
ascent/descent over a slick rock trail, the North Ridge Trail is much steeper, and very rocky. Most of the trail does not have great views. Descending the north ridge is difficult
because of the water seepage on what slick rock there is. Be very careful in these areas.

Here is a helpful park map: https://www.nps.gov/acad/plany...

Pack List

  • Plenty of water 
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Trekking poles may help with the descent
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RT Distance 4.75 Miles
Elevation Gain 1100 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop


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