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Cadillac Mountain

At: Maine, United States
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About: Cadillac Mountain is a mountain located on Mount Desert Island, within Acadia National Park. With an elevation of 1528 feet, its summit is the highest point in Hancock County, and the highest within 25 miles of the coastline of the Eastern United States. Before being renamed in 1918, the mountain had been called Green Mountain. The new name honors the French explorer and adventurer, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. In 1688, De la Mothe requested and received from the Governor of New France a parcel of land in an area known as Donaquec which included part of the Donaquec River (now the Union River) and the island of Mount Desert in the present-day U.S. state of Maine. Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, a shameless self-promoter who had already appropriated the "de la Mothe" portion of his name from a local nobleman in his native Picardy, thereafter referred to himself as Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, Donaquec, and Mount Desert. From 1883 until 1893 the Green Mountain Cog Railway ran to the summit to take visitors to the Green Mountain Hotel on the summit. The hotel was burned down in 1895. Also in 1895, the cog train was sold to the Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire. There are various hiking trails to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, some more challenging than others. There is also a paved road to the top. Cadillac Mountain is commonly believed to be the first location in the United States to be struck by the sun's rays each morning. Driving or hiking to the summit of Cadillac Mountain to see "the nation's first sunrise" is a popular activity among visitors of Acadia National Park. However, Cadillac only sees the first sunrise in the fall and winter, when the sun rises south of due east. During most of the spring and summer, the sun rises first on Mars Hill, 150 miles to the northeast. For a few weeks around the equinoxes, the sun rises first at West Quoddy Head in Lubec, Maine, the easternmost town in the United States. 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.


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