Acadia National Park: Jordan Pond and The Bubbles


Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

As I mentioned in my previous post on Acadia (which you can read by clicking here,) I have been to this park 3 times over the course of the last two decades. It’s a big, spread-out park and there has been someplace new to explore each time.
On our last trip, knowing that we’d have to meet up with our photo tour during the busy afternoon in the Jordan Pond parking lot, I’d planned our day around getting to that lot early, leaving our car there and planning the day’s activities in that area.
After a brief stop at the Hull’s Cove Visitor Center to get our pass and bearings, we headed for Jordan Pond, planning to spend the morning hiking The Bubbles. The Bubbles, I explained to my family, are two mountains looming over Jordan Pond that look like boobs. When we reached the beginning of the trail around Jordan Pond, we saw…
The pond was completely fogged in and my family thought I’d made up the whole story about the boobs. “Just wait,”  I said, “the fog will burn off and you’ll see.”
The Bubbles on a clear day in 2007
The first mile or so of the hike, running along the pristine waters of Jordan Pond (this is actually the drinking water supply for the surrounding area,) was level and pleasant. We were out pretty early and so saw some interesting birds and other wildlife along the way.
When we turned off towards the South Bubble Trail, the going got rough, at least for me and my daughter. Though the trails are very well maintained with stone, dirt and log steps, it’s STEEP with an elevation gain of 766 feet. And it was humid. I hate humidity.
Nevertheless we ascended the South Bubble, peered over the side and saw…
…nothing! Still fogged in.
And somehow, in all the nothingness and the out-of-breathness, we neglected to look for the park’s famous Bubble Rock, a huge boulder seemingly perched on the edge of the cliff. By the time we realized we’d missed it, we were halfway to the North Bubble and there was no way I was going back.
We made it to the summit of the North Bubble at 872 feet and were again confronted by fog. It wasn’t going to burn off that day. Still, we felt pretty good about ourselves for having climbed two mountains in one morning.
We explored some side trails as we made our way back to Jordan Pond to meet up with our afternoon photo tour.
Back in the Jordan Pond lot, we met up with our guide Howie from Acadia Photo Safari . 

He led our group around the side of the pond we hadn’t hiked that morning. It is a flat trail alongside the pond with some planking and stepping stones. Howie knows a lot about photography and cameras and is very good at explaining it. He was even able to help my husband and daughter get more out of their point-and-shoot cameras and showed me a few things I didn’t know about my SLR.
In spite of the foggy day, I think everyone came away with some decent shots and tricks we can use again and again.


When the photo walk concluded, we were famished. I’d made reservations at the historic Jordan Pond House. In its heyday, Mount Desert Island was a vacation hot-spot for High Society and the Pond House was a fancy place catering to this crowd. But in 2015, it didn’t matter that we weren’t in dressier attire as many other patrons were also in hiking clothes.
We were seated by a window overlooking the patio and what would have been a magnificent view if not for the fog.
There were many empty tables… not busy at all, but our waitress, while friendly, was absent and inattentive. We did enjoy the famous popovers and the local artisanal cheese plate. Most of our meal was from local organic sources and was very fresh. Considering the days activities (Fitbit registered over 30,000 steps and 11 miles walked) I probably could have eaten cardboard and thought it delicious.

And hanging on a wall near our table was a painting of The Bubbles reflected in Jordan Pond against a brilliant blue sky. “You see! There are the boobs!”

From May 2007.  In 2015, she had no recollection of having been here previously


Location: Mount Desert Island

Designation: National Park

Date designation declared: 7/8/1916

Date of my visit: August 2015

31 thoughts on “Acadia National Park: Jordan Pond and The Bubbles

  1. Good timely post. My sister-in-law and her hubby are going down to Bar Harbour for their 40th anniversary. They have been there before, but I sent the link for your post just in case they have not yet been to the foggy boobs. Darn fog!

      1. I hate heat and humidity. Cairns Aus was the worst I ever felt it. 98F with a feels like temp of 114 at 100% humidity. Even our sweat had sweat.

      2. Unfortunately we have a few 100F high humidity days here in the NYC area every year…becoming more frequent and starting earlier the past few years. We seldom get dry heat here

  2. This is one of our favourite hikes in Acadia! Your post brings back memories of when we hiked along Jordan Pond last fall. We’re actually planning to return to Acadia later in the month and you better believe we’re going to hike this trail again. Always a classic.

    1. I don’t feel qualified to teach photography but am happy to share tips. Here’s one that applies no matter what you’re shooting with: straighten your horizon. Until someone told me that, I never realized how often I was tilting in my haste to get the shot. It’s a lot easier to get the composition right when you’re shooting than trying to fix a crooked horizon in the editing process, so now I try to slow down and be a little more mindful when shooting.

  3. Great post and we will plan to take the hike in September. Thanks for keeping us “abreast” of the hiking options. You also mentioned in your previous post, the Atlantic Brewery. Since visiting breweries and bars is the topic of my own blog, would you recommend it? Thanks.

    1. I am not much of a beer drinker, but I did like the pale ale I had. My husband is a Guinness guy, but he also liked whatever choice he made. On a previous visit we took the tour of the brewery and enjoyed it. The bbq offerings from the smokehouse are great…eat outside on picnic tables. Maine is all about lobster pounds, which is awesome, but sometimes you need a break from that…so we stopped at Atlantic every time we’ve visited Bar Harbor.

  4. Terrific post and images. It is a park that’s high on my list…used to fog from life in SF. Just happened to be in NY last week hitting some of the 90 degree weather but generally beautiful east coast spring weather.

  5. Wow, I’d love to do some bush walks in this National Park. Maybe I’ll have the chance to do so one day 🙂
    Great post!
    I write about outdoor adventures on my blog as well. Feel free to check it out if you like 🙂

  6. Thank you for sharing this post! Acadia National Park seems like a fascinating place, and I look forward to the day when I am able to visit in person. In the meantime, I don’t mind living vicariously. I don’t mind hiking in the fog to avoid the heat, although I’m not a fan of rain. The Boobs seems entirely appropriate, and I let out a laugh when I saw the photo. Here in Colorado there are a pair of twin peaks officially named the Spanish Peaks but locally known better as teh Huajatollas (Wa-ha-toy-ahs) which is a Ute term that has been loosely translated as “Breasts of the Earth”.

  7. Pingback: Acadia National Park: Bar Island – National Parks USA

  8. Pingback: Acadia National Park: Schoodic Peninsula – National Parks USA

  9. Pingback: The Waters off Acadia National Park – National Parks USA

    1. Preserving our historic heritage is just as important as protecting our park’s natural resource…I love visiting all the NPS sites. I also posted about the Liberty Bell for the 4th 🙂

  10. Pingback: Bar Harbor Shore Path – National Parks USA

  11. Pingback: National Parks USA Top 10 Posts of 2018

Leave a Reply