Acadia National Park: Jordan Pond

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

I have visited Acadia National Park three 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. In 2015, we spent a full day in the Joran Pond area. We hiked the Bubbles, took a photo safari and ended the day with a meal in the Jordan Pond House.


First, we stopped at Hull’s Cove Visitor Center to get our pass and bearings. Then we headed for the Jordan Pond lot to spend the morning hiking The Bubbles. The Bubbles, I explained to my family, are two mountains looming over Jordan Pond that look like, erm, boobs. They didn’t believe me. When we reached the beginning of the trail around Jordan Pond, we saw…NOTHING! The pond was completely fogged in and my family thought I’d made up the whole story.

The Bubbles on a clear day in 2007

The first mile or so of the hike, running along the pristine waters of Jordan Pond was level and pleasant. The pond is actually a reservoir and provides the drinking water supply for the surrounding area. 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 persevered. We ascended the South Bubble, peered over the side and saw…nothing. Nothing but fog again.


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 reservoir 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.

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

Location: Mount Desert Island, Maine
Designation: National Park
Date designated/established: July 8, 1916
Date of my visit: August 2015