When you think of idyllic spots in Acadia, Jordan Pond probably comes to mind with its pristine calm waters surrounded by lush, majestic mountains in all directions. The Jordan Pond House (rated one of the best restaurants in any national park) is conveniently located on the south side of the pond and offers up wondrous views of the Bubbles (South Bubble Mountain and North Bubble Mountain) across the water. Before or after having afternoon tea and popovers (reservations recommended), a stroll around the Jordan Pond Trail (Jordan Pond Loop) is a wonderful leisurely activity while offering up great scenery.
The most convenient place to park to hike the Jordan Pond Loop is the Jordan Pond North parking lot, located along the Park Loop Road roughly 3.7 miles south of the turnoff for the Cadillac Mountain Summit Road. (This section of the road is two-way.) Limited parking is also available in the smaller Jordan Pond House parking lot. (Both lots tend to fill up and be quite crowded on summer afternoons.) From the Jordan Pond North lot, walk northwest to the boat launch and you will be treated to the classic view of the Bubbles across the waters. NOTE: While the water may look inviting, wading and swimming is not permitted as this is a public water source. (Swimming is permitted in other lakes such as Echo Lake.)
|Rating:||Easy family stroll on a paved path|
|Access:||Jordan Pond North parking lot or Jordan Pond House (limited parking)|
|Time Required:||1-2 hours|
|Elevation Change:||mostly level|
|Seasons:||Spring through fall|
The Jordan Pond Loop is an easy 3.5-mile hike that follows the path around the shores of Jordan Pond. (For the sake of this description, we'll hike counter-clockwise because it's slightly more aesthetic.) Follow the well-groomed gravel path as it makes its way north along the eastern shores of the pond; this section of the path is the easiest. Near the north side of Jordan Pond, the path crosses several artistically-constructed wooden bridges that go over two major streams that flow into the pond. For those looking to spice up the hike with some scrambling, consider taking the spur trail to the top of South Bubble. (The hike to the top of South Bubble is not recommended for those with a fear of heights.)
As the trail loops around the western side of Jordan Pond, things get a bit more interesting as the path makes its way around a few big boulders along the shoreline, then the gravel path turns into an elevated log boardwalk that takes you over the last mile of wetlands near the shore. Soon enough, the loop is completed and you will be standing back on the south side at the end of the lawn in front of the Jordan Pond House.
The stroll around Jordan Pond is a classic leisurely Acadia hike, especially if you can tie it in with tea or a meal at the Jordan Pond House. The views of the pristine waters reflecting the beautiful curves of the Bubbles can't be beat. Please note that while this is a leisurely and family-friendly path, it could get a bit monotonous for younger children as the terrain may start to feel repetitive.