Hiking: The Bubbles | Acadia National Park, Maine | July 18, 2008

On the same day that we hiked Dorr Mountain in the morning, we headed around the Park loop road and decided to spend the afternoon hiking The Bubbles.
The Bubbles
The Bubbles are two small mountains that are located at the northern end of Jordan Pond. From the top of The Bubbles you look right down the lake and to the mountains beyond. It's quite a view, which in addition to its short length makes it a very popular hike. We hit it later in the afternoon figuring it wouldn't be quite as crowded and thankfully it wasn't. It was easy to park in the lot and while we ran into plenty of people, it wasn't overwhelming.
The Bubbles
Considering the amount of use this trail gets, it's been improved quite a bit. While the stone steps on Dorr Mountain and other trails are thanks to the Civilian Conservation Corps or the 1930s, this trail has had constant work over the years so it's very easy to follow and while it gets steep in places, especially when descending from the South Bubble, it's in great shape – even with what's probably thousands of people hiking it constantly.
The Bubbles
When you get to the col between the two Bubbles, there's isn't that much distance between them, so it's easy to go up one, then drop back down and go over the other.
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
My favorite was the southern Bubble. It had great views of Jordan Pond. Plus there was Bubble Rock, which is a glacial erratic that's sitting right on the edge of the top of the mountain.

From the top of the South Bubble, the trail literally goes up to the edge of the cliffs and then drops down through them. There's nothing overly technical about this section of trail, but it can be a bit disconcerting with the exposure and the view down to the lake. If I had a choice again, I'd probably come up this trail, since climbing something this steep is usually easier when you're going up then going down.
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
The Bubbles
After that initial drop off and down the cliff face, the trail really doesn't level off, instead it picks its way down through the talus slope of the cliffs until it reaches the shore of Jordan Pond. From there, you climb up along a small stream to the height of land before you reach the trail you started out on and then pop back out at the parking lot.
The Bubbles
This is one of those hikes that probably everyone who goes to Acadia does and for good reason. While it isn't that long, isn't technically hard and can get crowded, it's a great way to get a really cool mountain experience. The views of Jordan Pond and the surrounding area are cool and for most people, climbing either up or down a cliff is probably something they haven't done before.

I didn't break out the photos for this hike from the overall Acadia/Bar Harbor vacation set, so if you want to see all the photos from the hike, they are in this set.



Guidebooks, Maps and Hiking Information for Acadia National Park


If you are looking for a good guidebook (with maps) for hikes throughout Acadia National Park, we have been using Tom St. Germain's A Walk in the Park and found it to be a great resource.  The Maine Mountain Guide from the Appalachian Mountain Club also includes trail descriptions and maps for Acadia.  A good introduction to Acadia National Park is available online here.

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