Located in the heart of Mount Desert Island towering over Jordan Pond on the east is the beautiful and majestic Pemetic Mountain. Pemetic is one of the great peaks of Acadia, comparable in size to Dorr Mountain and Sargent Mountain. A visit to the top involves some steep and strenuous uphill hiking, but the scenery is absolutely worth the effort. After ascending the initial forested cliffs, the upper sections of the mountain feel like a different world of wondrous granite formations. With unhindered views in all directions, including the trio of inner lakes: Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake, and Bubble Pond, Pemetic is one of Acadia's crown jewels.
Pemetic Mountain has four separate trails that lead to the summit from all directions of the compass, so there are many options for getting to the summit as well as including Pemetic Mountain in a longer loop hike. Below are a few suggestions (see map for details).
|Rating:||Fairly strenuous day hike with steep elevation gain|
|Access:||Jordan Pond North parking lot or Bubble Pond parking lot. Alternatively, the Bubbles parking lot.|
|Time Required:||3-5 hours|
|Length:||6 miles (including the return hike along the carriage roads)|
|Elevation Change:||1000 feet ascent from Jordan Pond to summit of Pemetic|
|Seasons:||Spring through fall|
This is probably the most family-friendly route to the summit. Starting at the Jordan Pond North parking lot (located on the south end of Jordan Pond), hike east along the Jordan Pond Path as it loops around the southeastern corner of Jordan Pond. Soon enough, you will reach the junction with the Bubble & Jordan Ponds Path; take this trail for half a mile as it leaves Jordan Pond, crosses the Park Loop Road, and heads into the hills under Pemetic Mountain. Finally, take the Pemetic South Ridge Trail north; over the next 1.3 miles the trail will gradually ascend out of the forested scenery onto the beautiful granite spine of Pemetic Mountain up to the summit. Like nearby Penobscot Mountain, the glacier-carved granite formations are wondrous and the summit offers great views in all directions.
From the summit, you could either return down the Pemetic South Ridge Trail or for a longer loop, descend the slightly steeper Pemetic North Ridge Trail, then head south on the carriage road that hugs Bubble Pond for roughly 1.5 miles. When the Bubble & Jordan Ponds Path crosses over, take it southwest back to Jordan Pond.
This alternate start to the Pemetic South Ridge Trail is much steeper and ascends several interesting breaks in the granite layers of the mountain. This short stretch of trail is a more direct route if you are continuing a hike from Day Mountain and The Triad.
Starting from the Bubble Pond parking lot, the Pemetic North Ridge Trail is a fairly steep and forested route up to the summit. Admittedly, this trail is less appealing than the South Ridge Trail for two reasons: 1) Parking at Bubble Pond is extremely limited, so don't count on it. 2) The scenery along the South Ridge Trail (interesting rock formations and non-stop views) is much more dramatic. If hiking up or down the Pemetic North Face Trail, you can see one of the famous carriage-road bridges, Bubble Pond Bridge, near the Bubble Pond parking area.
This is the "spiciest" and most unique route up to the summit. Starting at the Bubbles (Bubble Rock) parking lot (another parking lot that is usually filled by mid-morning), cross the Park Loop Road and find the Pemetic Northwest Trail marker. This trail wastes no time getting down to business as it ascends the west face of the mountain, crossing over boulder fields and numerous steep rock formations along the way.
The most interesting part of this trail is a short section where the trail splits in two with a "ravine" route or a "ledge" route. The ravine route heads into a small gorge-like break in the mountain with two wooden ladders to assist in the ascent. Cool! During spring or periods of rain, there may be a bit of flowing water in the ravine, so be prepared to get your feet a little wet. The ledge route follows a steep slab of granite alongside the ravine; be careful as it is easy to slip on the steep angle, especially when wet. Above the second ladder, the routes rejoin and the trail ascends more gradually to the junction with the North Ridge Trail. Continue south to the summit of Pemetic Mountain.
Pemetic Mountain is one of my favorite peaks in Acadia National Park. If you're up for a hike that's a bit more strenuous, it's well worth the effort for the amazing views. Since this peak is quite popular and has fairly easy access, be prepared to deal with parking problems, start early, or use the Island Explorer shuttle service to get to one of the trailheads.