Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hike – Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond and the Bubbles
There are many trails that start from the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park in Maine.  The Jordan Pond House is a very popular destination for both tourists and hikers.  The food there is good (the popovers are excellent) and there are many trails that can be explored.  This post describes an easy loop hike that will take you around the shores of Jordan Pond itself. 

Directions – Drive to the Jordan Pond House on the Park Loop Road and park.  This trail starts there.

You can hike this trail in either direction.  This post describes a clockwise hike around the pond.  Other than one section over rocks this is more a walk than a hike.

Head down a dirt path on the left as you are facing the pond.  This will bring you down to the shore.  Turn left and walk along the shore.  You will come to a small bridge that is the outlet for Jordan Stream.  Cross over this and head right up the west shore of the pond.

This side of the pond is a little more rustic.  There are roots and small rocks on the trail.  There are occasional log walks to take you over some areas.  We startled a small fisher or weasel on one of the log walks.  You get constant views of the pond as you make your way along.

Log Walk on the western side of Jordan Pond
Very strange tree growth on western shore of Jordan Pond

Towards the northern end of Jordan Pond you will come to the only real section of hiking.  You will need to make your way over some large rocks.  When you get past them the trail flattens out again.  You will come to a small log bridge at the northern tip of the pond.  Cross over it.

The log bridge at the northern end of Jordan Pond

You will now be making your way to the eastern shore of the pond.  This trail is wider and easier to walk on.  You will pass trails that head off to the left.  These would take you up the Bubbles (the two peaks you can famously see from the Jordan Pond House.)  Stay on the Jordan Pond Trail.

This side of the pond has young birch trees growing on the hillside.  I’m not sure if a fire cleared out the older trees at some point.

Birch trees on eastern shore of Jordan Pond

One thing my brother-in-law, George, and I hadn’t thought about was the timing of our hike.  When we were making our way south down the eastern shore back to Jordan Pond House the sun was now to the west and beating down on this trail.  The lack of trees between the trail and the pond make for great views, but also mean there is no shelter from the sun.  It was a hot day and we were going through our water pretty quickly.  In the afternoon on a sunny hot day, a counterclockwise hike would probably be better.

When you get to the southeastern shore of the Pond there will be another trail heading off to the left.  This is the Pond Trail which will lead to trails for Pemetic Mountain, the Triad, and a carriage road.  Continue to stay on the Jordan Pond Trail.  You will pass over a small stone causeway.  At the other end of it the Nature Trail on the left will take you more directly back to the Jordan Pond House.  Take the trail to the right to complete the circuit of Jordan Pond along the shore.

A different angle of Jordan Pond and the Bubbles from the stone causeway

As you continue the trees on the left will open up and you will be able to look up over a hill from the pond to the Jordan Pond House.  Finish the circuit by continuing to the dirt path you originally took to get down to the pond.  Walk back up it to the parking area to complete your hike.
[For other hikes that start at the Jordan Pond House see this post for a loop hike over the Triad, this post for a loop hike down the Seaside Path and back up the Jordan Stream Trail, and this post for a traverse of Pemetic Mountain.]

Cumulative distance:             3.2 miles
Cumulative elevation gain:   negligible
Cumulative duration:            2 hours (including time for photos)

Acadia Hiking Guide

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