Two more interior trails on Isle au Haut are the Bowditch Trail and Long Pond Trail. The Bowditch Trail heads east from the Duck Harbor Trail, crossing a large marsh and ascending the forested Jerusalem Mountain and Bowditch Mountain. (Both "mountains" are barely noticeable hills.) Nearby Long Pond Trail is a lollipop loop that descends east to reach the shore of the thin north/south Long Pond. This might be the loneliest and least-visited stretch of trail in the Acadia National Park trail system. Both trails are pleasant walks in the woods but they are not destination hikes.
|Rating:||Moderately strenuous day hike|
|Access:||Duck Harbor Road, junction with the Median Ridge Trail|
|Time Required:||1-2 hours for Bowditch Trail (one way), 1.5-2.5 hours for Long Pond Trail (lollipop loop)|
|Length:||2 miles for Bowditch Trail (one way), 3 miles for Long Pond Trail (lollipop loop)|
|Elevation Change:||Gradual 350-ft ascent up the Bowditch Trail, 375-ft descent down to Long Pond Trail|
|Seasons:||Spring through fall|
The Bowditch Trail is a pleasant stroll through the woods that starts at the junction with the Duck Harbor Trail near the first road crossing roughly 1.5 miles south of the ranger station. The trail heads east through a large marsh and several old sections of wooden planks keep hikers above the wet landscape. (After a big rainstorm, this whole section of trail can be swamped out with sections of the trail completely underwater.)
Soon the trail starts its gradual ascend up the slopes of Jerusalem Mountain. The highest point of this trail is near the summit of the mountain as the trail exits NPS land briefly and takes a right turn through a lovely meadow of blueberry bushes. (You will see two sets of boundary markers as you exit and re-enter the park.) Heading south now, the trail follows the north/south ridgeline of the island and at the spot labeled "Bowditch Mountain" on most maps is the junction with the Long Pond Trail. (Note that while Jerusalem Mountain and Bowditch Mountain are labeled on most maps, they are both forested hills and you might not even realize that you have summited these "mountains.")
Note: Bowditch Mountain is named after Ernest Bowditch and his family for donating much of the land that is now Acadia National Park on Isle au Haut.
Long Pond Trail is a lollipop loop hike that can be accessed from the Duck Harbor Road, or you can connect to it via a longer hike from either the Bowditch Trail or Median Ridge Trail. (Note: This Long Pond Trail is not to be confused with the other Long Pond Trail located on the quiet side of Mount Desert Island.) Hiking Isle au Haut's Long Pond Trail as a counter-clockwise loop, the trail heads east through pleasant rolling hills where you may notice a few historic old stone walls and an interesting spot where many "dinosaur egg" stones are resting in the middle of the forest. This stretch of trail is probably the loneliest and least-visited stretch of trail in the Acadia National Park system and there are several overgrown spots where you may have trouble following the trail.
As the trail gets close to Long Pond, it makes a fairly steep descent to reach the forested shoreline. This is a great spot to relax and enjoy that get-away-from-it-all feeling. Continuing the loop, the trail leaves the pond and heads back west, making a fairly steep ascent to get back onto the main ridgeline of the island. Soon enough you will be back at the junction with the Bowditch Trail.