Acadia National Park to Close Iconic Cadillac Summit Road Into 2023

by Jon D. B.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, MAINE, UNITED STATES - 2009/10/20: Car ascends road leading to the peak of Cadillac Mountain. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

It’s almost time for Acadia National Park to close down their most iconic drive for winter, so be sure to “know before you go.”

Planning a trip to Maine’s gorgeous Acadia National Park(ACAD) this fall? Few park visits can match an autumn-laden Acadia, so we highly recommend it. But we’ve also got good news and bad news ahead of planning your trip.

The bad news is: Cadillac Mountain Road will close to all traffic, including pedestrians and bicyclists, for the 2022 season on November 14.

The good news is: Acadia National Park is giving us all a full month’s heads up on this closure, so we’ve plenty of time to plan accordingly. In addition, the closure will facilitate road repairs and culvert replacements for the safety of future visitors.

According to ACAD’s media release to Outsider, Cadillac Summit Road will re-open for pedestrian use after crews have de-mobilized for the winter. Initially, the roadwork will kick off this fall with grinding and culvert replacements. Then, paving and striping will occur in “Spring of 2023.”

As stated, these closures will allow workers and oversized vehicles access to the historic road without endangering staff and visitors. But this project’s timeline is dependent on the weather Acadia National Park experiences in the coming months. So be sure to check back here and on the park website for updates.

Improvements Coming to Acadia National Park’s Historic Cadillac Summit Road

This three-and-a-half-mile summit road, which leads up to Cadillac Mountain, is not only a fantastic drive, but a historic roadway deserving of careful conservation, too.

PORTLAND, ME – JULY 16: Park visitors crowd the summit of Cadillac Mountain, one of the most popular spots in Acadia National Park. (Staff photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

“Designed by the Bureau of Public Roads between 1929-32, Cadillac Mountain Road is an extraordinary example of construction in a mountainous terrain,” ACAD states. “The road maintains a positive grade for its entire length and includes spiral transition curves, which were an adaptation from the old railroad route up the mountain, to give a smoother ride between the road’s straight and curved sections.”

Amid the road’s initial construction, “guardrails were fashioned by spacing three-to-four-foot angular coping stones along the edge of the road approximately four feet apart,” the park adds.

Today, Cadillac Summit Road remains the only way for park visitors to access the summit of Cadillac Mountain. And no visit to the Maine national park is complete without summiting Cadillac Mountain, period. The highest point on the U.S.’s eastern seaboard, Cadillac Mountain offers unparalleled views of the northern Atlantic’s glaciated coastal and island landscape.

Unlike most famous American mountains, Cadillac is accessible by car thanks to this road. Along the way, you’ll find interpretive waysides, restrooms, and even a gift shop at Cadillac’s summit.

For more ahead of your Acadia excursion, see our Top 10 Things to Do in Acadia National Park next.