Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hike – The Triad

Day Mountain and Seal Harbor from the Triad
There are many trails that start from the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park in Maine.  Some are more popular than others.  This post describes a loop hike that starts and ends there that will allow you to avoid some of the crowds that take the more popular trails. 

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

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.  I arrived there about 1:00 PM on a Sunday afternoon after having hiked a couple of small trails in the morning.  I figured I would have lunch and then do one of the trails nearby.  It turned out that the wait to get in to eat was at least 45 minutes.

I pulled out my copy of A Walk in the Park to see if there was a quick trail nearby that I had not done yet.  I read about a loop hike over The Triad, which is a set of smaller peaks to the east of the Jordan Pond House.  I decided to do it and then eat when I came back.  (To read about a traverse of the Triad via Hunters Brook Trail and the Triad Trail - the east and south - then click here.)

Jordan Pond and the Bubbles from behind the Jordan Pond House

To start the hike, follow the signs for the Nature Trail down back of the Jordan Pond House.  This will lead you through some trees and come out to Jordan Pond.  Walk over the small stone causeway and then take the Pond Trail that will head up and away to the right.

This is also the way to hike Pemetic Mountain from Jordan Pond House, so you may encounter other hikers along here.  This trail is wide and very well maintained.

You will come to a trail branching off to the right for the Triad.  Take it.  This trail is much rougher than the one you are leaving.  There are many roots and rocks to travel over.  You start to head up at a somewhat greater rate than you had been, but the trail never gets too steep.  There are occasional stone steps to help.

Part of the Triad trail along a stone face

Because there are multiple peaks you will gain and lose elevation multiple times during the hike.  Many trails pass over the Triad’s peaks, so make sure to verify your way at each signpost. 

Once on the trail for the Triad you will come to a signpost with a trail heading to the right.  This leads to a carriage road.  Stay on your trail.  You will come to a second signpost that also has a trail to the right for the same carriage road.  Things get a little tricky now because there are two signposts very near each other.  Follow the signs to go to the peak of the highest of the Triad (just under 700 feet) via Hunters Brook Trail.  This will only be a tenth of a mile or so from the second of the two very close signposts.  You get a view of Day Mountain and Seal Harbor to the south.

When you are done here, retrace your steps to the two signposts.  At this time take a right to continue to loop counterclockwise.  This trail will connect back to the Pond Trail further east from where you left it.  When you do reach the Pond Trail, turn left to head back toward Jordan Pond.

The well built trail will be dropping in elevation as you make your way down a bit of the southern slope of Pemetic.  You will come back to where you originally left this trail to head for the Triad.  You will also pass a sign for the trail that heads up Pemetic.  Stay on the Pond Trail.  You will come back down to Jordan Pond.  Cross back over the small stone causeway and follow the Nature Trail back up to the Jordan Pond House to complete your hike.

[For other hikes that start at the Jordan Pond House see this post for a circuit of Jordan Pond, 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:             2.2 miles
Cumulative elevation gain:   500 feet
Cumulative duration:            1.5 hours (including time for photos)

Acadia Hiking Guide

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