Cotton sedge buds (photo by Webmaster)

Trail sign at the summit of Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)

Pemetic Mtn., Jordan Pond,
Eagle Lake, and Bubble Pond

Destinations:  Pemetic Mtn. (1248'), Jordan Pond (274'), Eagle Lake (274'), Bubble Pond (331')
Trails:  Pemetic Mountain Northeast Trail, Pemetic Mountain Trail, Pemetic Mountain Southwest Trail, Pond Trail, Jordan Pond Trail, Jordan Pond Carry Trail, Eagle Lake Trail, carriage roads
Region:  ME - Central Southeast  
Acadia National Park, Eastern Region
Location:  Bar Harbor, ME
Rating:  Moderate/Difficult  
Features:  Summit, views, ponds, lake, rock scrambles, ledges, loop hike
Distance:  5.7 miles  
Elevation Gain:  1300 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Actual: 3:10   Typical: 3:30  
Outing Duration:  Actual: 6:05   Typical: 5:30  
Season:  Spring
Hike Date:  06/11/2008 (Wednesday)  
Last Updated:  07/18/2009  
Weather:  80 degrees, sunny
Author:  Webmaster

View of ocean and islands from Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)


Route Summary   

This loop hike starts at Bubble Pond, treks over Pemetic Mountain's bare summit with excellent views, strolls along Jordan Pond's shoreline, and visits Eagle Lake before completing its circuit.

To Pemetic Mountain Summit:
  • Start at the Bubble Pond parking area.
  • First cross a carriage road and walk down to Bubble Pond's shore to enjoy the water views.
  • At a sign just a few strides uphill from the shoreline, head southwest. This is a left-hand turn with your back to the pond; or a right-hand turn when facing the pond. The goal is to make your way over to Pemetic Mountain Northeast Trail which is referred to as simply Pemetic Mountain Trail on the signs.
  • Walk a very short ways then turn left at a sign.
  • Just a bit farther, turn right at another sign.
  • Walk up a very short hill then cross a carriage road onto a footpath on the opposite side. This footway is Pemetic Mountain Northeast Trail and is reached only 0.1 mile from the parking lot in spite of the several turns.
  • Follow the blue-blazed Pemetic Mountain Northeast Trail steeply uphill for 1.0 mile until it ends at a junction with Pemetic Mountain Trail (which goes left) and Bubble-Pemetic Trail (which goes right).
  • Bear left onto Pemetic Mountain Trail and continue uphill over mostly open ledges for 0.1 mile until reaching the summit of Pemetic Mountain which offers outstanding panoramic vistas.

Jordan Pond with The Bubbles in the background towards the right (photo by Webmaster)


To Jordan Pond:
  • After enjoying the views, continue along Pemetic Mountain Trail in a southerly direction, still over open ledges.
  • Descend moderately on Pemetic Mountain Trail for 0.6 mile.
  • At a trail sign in an open ledgy area, turn sharply right to pick up Pemetic Mountain Southwest Trail in the direction of Jordan Pond. This trail may also be referred to as Pemetic West Cliff Trail.
  • Descend steeply on Pemetic Mountain Southwest Trail for 0.6 mile until reaching a T-junction with Pond Trail.
  • Turn right onto Pond Trail and stroll down a gentle and smooth decline for 0.4 mile which will bring you to the paved Park Loop Road.
  • Cross the street and continue on Pond Trail on the other side for 0.1 mile until it meets Jordan Pond Trail (which may also be referred to as Jordan Pond Shore Trail).
  • We will be turning right to follow the eastern shoreline of Jordan Pond; but first turn left and walk across the stone causeway at the southern end of Jordan Pond. On one side will be views of a pretty marshy area; on the other side vistas of the pond with The Bubbles rising above it to the northeast.
  • Retrace your steps on the causeway then turn left to follow Jordan Pond Trail which hugs the eastern shoreline with almost continuous views out to the pond.
  • Follow the level Jordan Pond Trail for 0.9 mile, then leave the shoreline and turn right onto Jordan Pond Carry Trail.

Eagle Lake (photo by Webmaster)


To Eagle Lake and Return:
  • Follow Jordan Pond Carry Trail uphill for 0.4 mile which will bring you to an unsigned trail junction; first there will be a trail on the left, then a few strides later a trail on right. Keep going straight on Jordan Pond Carry Trail.
  • Continue on Jordan Pond Carry Trail, going straight across a dirt road. After 0.5 mile you will reach a carriage road.
  • Cross the carriage road and continue for 0.1 mile which will bring you to an intersection with Eagle Lake Trail with a short spur going straight ahead to a lookout of the lake.
  • Turn right onto Eagle Lake Trail and follow the gently undulating trail for 0.6 mile where it will end upon meeting a carriage trail just after passing by a "public water supply" sign.
  • Turn left onto the carriage road and walk for 20 yards which will bring you to signed junction #7.
  • Bear right towards Bubble Pond and after 0.3 mile on the carriage road, you will reach the paved Park Loop Road.
  • Cross Park Loop Road and you will be back at the Bubble Pond parking lot.

Place         Split
Miles
     Total
Miles
     Split
Time
     Total
Time
    
Bubble Pond parking lot (350') 0.0 0.0 0:00 0:00
Pemetic Mtn. summit (1248') 1.2 1.2 0:53 0:53
Jordan Pond (274') 1.7 2.9 1:00 1:53
Eagle Lake (274') 1.9 4.8 0:51 2:44
Bubble Pond parking lot (350') 0.9 5.7 0:26 3:10

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Sheep laural on Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)

Ledges on Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)

 

View from Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)



Causeway at southern end of Jordan Pond (photo by Webmaster)


Trail signs on Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)
 

Trail map of hike route to Pemetic Mtn., Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake, and Bubble Pond at Acadia National Park (map by Webmaster)


Trail Guide   

Pemetic Mountain offers fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding lakes, ponds, harbors, islands, and mountains. This loop hike also visits Bubble Pond, includes an easy stroll along Jordan Pond's shoreline and a walk through the woods bordering Eagle Lake.

The first 1.2 miles of this trek are steep but if you can make it through the climb, the rest of the hike is quite easy offering marvelous scenery for relatively little effort over a 5.7-mile circuit.

It was a sunny, 80-degree day with the blue skies providing a perfect backdrop to the amazing scenery. There were several people milling around Bubble Pond, a few on the summit of Pemetic, and a handful at Jordan Pond; but aside from that I had the trails all to myself. I don't know if it was because it was a weekday in the off-season or if the route I chose normally gets light foot traffic.

Since this is a long trip report, I've divided it into sections:

Bubble Pond and Pemetic Mountain
Jordan Pond
To Eagle Lake and Return


Bubble Pond (photo by Webmaster)


Bubble Pond and Pemetic Mountain   

Right at the start of this hike, you will be treated to pretty views of Bubble Pond whose shoreline is only about 25 yards away from the parking lot. The pond is flanked by Cadillac Mountain on its left side and Pemetic Mountain on the right. Bubble Pond is oblong shaped and covers 32 acres. It's a public drinking supply so no swimming is allowed but fishing is permissible.

Heading away from the pond, I picked up Pemetic Mountain (Northeast) Trail. A good part of the ascent is over a rocky footway, up steep slopes, and through an open spruce-fir forest. Sections of the path were so jumbled with roots and rocks that I found myself having to look farther ahead than usual to spot the blue paint blazes in order to figure out what route to follow.

There was one odd looking rock right in the trail that had a hollowed out portion – sort of a mini-cave within the rock. With the blue paint blaze above the opening, it looked like a side view of a whale's head with the blaze forming the eye and the hollow representing the whale's open mouth.

Pemetic Mountain Trail leading over ledges up to the summit (photo by Webmaster)


As I gained elevation, the footway transitioned to smoother ledges rather than jumbles of smaller rocks, making the walking more enjoyable and less tedious. And then the trees became less and less and the views started opening up.

I came to an outlook point giving a bird's-eye view down onto Bubble Pond whose waters had a beautiful azure tint to them. Across from me, rising above the pond was the long ridge of Cadillac Mountain. Looking past the pond's narrow end, Park Loop Road was visible wending through the forest, and beyond that was Frenchman Bay. Nice views that would improve dramatically as I continued my trek across Pemetic Mountain.

I encountered an open ledge with many fractures, softened by time, making the rock face look like a jigsaw puzzle that had been loosely fitted together. There were some low-growing sheep laurel shrubs (Kalmia angustifolia) bursting out of pockets of soil and boasting hot pink bowl-shaped blossoms as well as some buds of the same color. Three-toothed cinquefoil (Potentilla tridentata) with white flowers was also sporting both blossoms and buds.

View from Pemetic Mtn. (photo by Webmaster)


In another area were some beautiful young cedars, with the tallest being only about seven feet high. Their feathery, lacey needles were inviting to the touch and it was neat to be able to examine them from close up since they are usually out of reach on taller trees.

The next outlook laid out all 437 acres of Eagle Lake before me; we will be visiting the shoreline of this lake near the end of this hiking loop. The expanse of blue was beautifully accented by the thick green forests and gentle hills surrounding it. Conners Nubble (580'), showing just a bit of bald ledge up top, was visible on Eagle Lake's near western shore. Farther out a bit northwest of the lake were the trailless McFarland Mountain (724') and Youngs Mountain (680').

Next it was back in the trees for a bit with a tall series of rock scrambles to navigate. And then back out in the open with a steep, smooth slab to climb with the route marked by little cairns. The slope then eased up as it wound its way over semi-open ledges bordered by conifers and low-growing plants.

View of Eagle Lake and beyond from Pemetic Mountain's summit (photo by Webmaster)


I soon reached the summit which was marked by a trail sign typical of what is used throughout the park. The gray wood is the color of driftwood and is formed by an upright log whose upper part has had half the diameter of the log removed so that a flat writing surface is present. Then the words are carved into the wood. With everything gray and without any cross pieces, some of the signs can be easily overlooked and mistaken for an old broken-off tree.

But since this sign was the only wood on the rocky summit, it was hard to miss. It marks the summit proper and indicates Pemetic Mountain's elevation as 1,248 feet making it the fourth-highest peak in Acadia National Park.

The summit offers views in just about all directions but the best vistas are found by moving around the open ledges a bit in order to gain the best prospects. Only the southeast quadrant is blocked by conifers, although even this direction will open up before we finish with this mountain.

Jordan Pond and beyond as seen from Pemetic Mtn. (photo by Webmaster)


Straight down to the west is a bird's-eye view of Jordan Pond which is our next destination in this circuit. On the far side of the pond, a carriage road paralleling the shore can be spotted. Rising directly above Jordan Pond is Penobscot Mountain (1194') with Sargent Mountain – Acadia's second highest peak at 1,373 feet – to its right. Cadillac Mountain – the tallest in the park at 1,530 feet – is visible to the northeast and cars could even be seen driving up its auto road. Looking north again is Eagle Lake and beyond that Eastern Bay and wider views of Frenchman Bay. To the south are the Atlantic Ocean and the Cranberry Islands.

With all the incredible scenery, this was a hard summit to leave. If not for the strong winds, I may have stayed there all day and blown off the rest of the loop. But as I headed south down Pemetic's other side, I was treated to more and more views so it ended up being a very rewarding parting.

I had stunning southwesterly vistas of a bunch of islands, including Swans Island, and views of the ocean to the southeast. Closer at hand were neat ledge outcrops and also an interesting boggy area amidst the rock slabs. Cotton sedge (Eriophorum vaginatum) with its white, wispy flowers, and low shrubs, such as chokeberry, blueberry, and rhodora (Rhododendron roseum), encircled the small body of water.

Boggy area near the summit of Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)


The trail ascends a bit and then twists to give unobstructed views to the east and southeast out to the ocean where the sea and sky blend together in a blur. The harbors and boats and islands continued to get closer and closer and it was hard not to believe that this stroll on the open ledges would eventually deliver me right over the water and onto the islands themselves.

I eventually reached the trail junction for Pemetic Mountain Southwest Trail which ducked into shady woods; but the views were not quite over. This path meandered between woods and small ledgy openings with more views to the islands and glimpses of the shimmering waters of Jordan Pond.

I soon reached Pond Trail which was a smooth trail through pretty woods, descending on an easy slope. After barely fifteen minutes on this path, I arrived at the shore of Jordan Pond.

Jordan Stream at the south end of Jordan Pond (photo by Webmaster)


Jordan Pond   

There is a trail that encircles the entire Jordan Pond although my plan was to walk for just under a mile along its eastern shoreline. But first I turned left to walk across a stone causeway at the pond's southern end. Looking south was a pretty view of a marshy area with the wide Jordan Stream running through it. Facing north, the length of the oblong pond – a bit over a mile long – stretched before me with North Bubble (872') and South Beaver swimming at Jordan Pond (photo by Webmaster) Bubble (766') rising above the northeastern end. Jordan Pond covers 187 acres and supports landlocked salmon and lake trout. There was a paddler plying its quiet waters.

I turned around and then veered left to walk on the delightful Jordan Pond Trail along the eastern shoreline. The smooth footway stayed close to the edge through a mixture of shade and sun. There were many openings offering views out to the water and to the Jordan Cliffs of Penobscot Mountain on the other side of the pond.

The walk was incredibly peaceful and beautiful. After a while I came upon a small beach with wide views of the pond. A chickadee was flitting amongst some tree branches and a beaver was swimming offshore. I crossed an arched wooden bridge just after the beach and then I turned right on Jordan Pond Carry Trail in order to head over to Eagle Lake.

Cliffs above Eagle Lake (photo by Webmaster)


To Eagle Lake and Return   

Jordan Pond Carry Trail entered the woods and led me uphill on a rocky trail. I climbed gently for about 0.6 mile until reaching a dirt road. After crossing the road the trail then descended easily, passing through some muddy areas on bog bridges, before crossing a carriage road and then delivering me to the shore of Eagle Lake.

The view from Eagle Lake's southern shore was pretty with scattered boulders dotting the waterway and gentle hills rimming the lake. Eagle Lake, like Bubble Pond and Jordan Pond is also oblong shaped and all three bodies of water are oriented in a north-south direction. However Eagle Lake is much larger, covering 437 acres and is the largest freshwater lake at Acadia. This is also a public water supply so fishing is allowed but not swimming. Eagle Lake has an average depth of about 42 feet with the deepest area being 110 feet.

The path along the lake is a lot wilder than the one along Jordan Pond. Eagle Lake Trail is gently undulating and a bit tricky to follow as it winds its way through ferns and other low plants and shrubs right to the shore and then a bit away from it. There are several outlooks to the water. The cliffs of North Bubble's ridgeline and Conners Nubble can be seen rising above the southwestern edge of the lake. Towards the end of the path, a couple cute little islands came into view.

The trail ended at a carriage road which I followed for a pleasant 0.3-mile stroll back to the parking area. Aside from a few mosquitoes on Eagle Lake Trail, there were no problems with mosquitoes or black flies the entire day. All in all, it was very rewarding day with varied terrain and wonderful scenery.

Islands on Eagle Lake (photo by Webmaster)

 
Three-toothed cinquefoil flower and buds on Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)


Pemetic Mountain Northeast Trail (photo by Webmaster)

Rocky Pemetic Mountain Northeast Trail (photo by Webmaster)

Rock scrambles up Pemetic Mountain Northeast Trail (photo by Webmaster)

Mountain sandwort on Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)

Chokeberry on Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)

Pond Trail (photo by Webmaster)

Jordan Pond Trail (photo by Webmaster)

Eagle Lake Trail (photo by Webmaster)

Eagle Lake Trail (photo by Webmaster)

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ME - Central Southeast

  Driving Directions   

This hike starts from the Bubble Pond parking lot, located within Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. It is in the eastern half of Mount Desert Island.

From Bar Harbor:
  • From the junction of Routes 3 and 233 in Bar Harbor, head southwest on Rt. 233.
  • Follow Rt. 233 southwest for about 1.2 miles.
  • Jordan Pond Trail running along the shore of Jordan Pond (photo by Webmaster)
  • Turn left onto Park Loop Road.
  • Follow Park Loop Road south for about 2.3 miles, then turn left into the Bubble Pond parking lot which is also 1.1 miles beyond the turnoff for Cadillac Mountain.

Winter: The section of Park Loop Road leading to this trailhead is closed so this hike is not accessible in the winter unless you use a snowmobile or skis to get to it.

Facilities   

Toilets at Bubble Pond parking lot.

Other Notes   

A fee is required to enter Acadia National Park between May 1st and October 31st.

For more information on entrance fees please refer to the Acadia National Park website.

Rates:
  • $20 for a week-long pass for one vehicle during the regular season (June 23rd–Early October)
  • $10 for a week-long pass for one vehicle during the off-season (May 1st–June 22nd and Early October–October 31st)
  • $40 for a year-long pass for one vehicle
  • $5 for a week-long pass for one pedestrian

Ledges on Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)


About Acadia National Park   

Acadia National Park, covering about 48,000 acres, is located on Mount Desert Island on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the "Downeast" region of the state of Maine. The park spans several villages including Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and Southwest Harbor. Acadia includes miles of ocean shoreline, many freshwater ponds, a couple lakes, waterfalls, bare ledgy mountaintops, and deciduous and softwood forests. There are two sections of the park that are not on Mount Desert Island: Schoodic Peninsula and Isle au Haut.

Acadia National Park offers a unique hiking experience in New England. From the many bare summits, not only can you see other mountains, but also gorgeous vistas of the sea along with islands, promontories, coves, and boats. The hiking is rugged with many easy rock scrambles, yet the elevations are low, making the ledgy peaks accessible to most people. The incredible network of trails allows you to tailor hiking distances to your wishes – you can devise a route that will keep you going all day; or simply choose a short jaunt to give you great vistas without a lot of effort. There are a couple dozen peaks and well over 100 miles of hiking trails.

View from Pemetic Mtn. at Acadia National Park (photo by Webmaster)


There is an abundance of opportunities for outdoor activities at Acadia. Spend some time sunbathing at Sand Beach, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Atlantic shoreline, bicycle or ride a horse on the 57 miles of carriage roads, paddle in the many ponds, swim at Echo Lake, take a boat tour on the sea or to an island, stay overnight at the park's campgrounds, and of course you can hike up mountains, through forests, and around ponds. The winter season provides great terrain for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

If your taste runs to less physical activity, then you can drive up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain – Acadia's highest peak at 1,532 feet elevation – in fact the highest point on the United States' Atlantic seaboard. From Cadillac's bare summit are views in every direction – you can watch the sunrise in the morning and the sunset in the evening. The forest service offers many ranger-led programs from mid-May through mid-October to introduce you to the nature and wildlife of the park. You can drive on Park Loop Road for a tour of the park with many picnic areas and pullout spots offering scenic vistas available. Or stop in at Jordan Pond House for popovers and tea. Shopping, restaurants, and lodging are available in Bar Harbor as well as the other villages within or next to the park. Whale watching and bird watching are other popular activates.

Rhodora bloom (photo by Webmaster)


The varied natural habitat of Acadia National Park – from ocean to mountains – offers a plethora of plants and wildlife – both marine and land-bound. It is home to about 50 species of mammals, 325 bird species, and 1,000 species of flowering plants. Both bald eagles and peregrine falcons nest on the island. Mammals include deer, porcupine, and beaver. Whales and harbor seals are common marine animals.

The park was established in 1916 under a different name and became Acadia National Park in 1929. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated about one-third of the park's acreage and was responsible for creating the gorgeous carriage roads that wind through forests, around ponds, past waterfalls, and over beautiful granite bridges.

An entrance fee is required to enter the park. See the forest service's Fees and Reservations page for more information.

The park is open all year, although services are reduced and many roads closed during the winter season.

Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
207.288.3338
 

Black huckleberry blooms (photo by Webmaster)

Black huckleberry shrub on Pemetic Mountain (photo by Webmaster)

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View from Pemetic Mtn. (photo by Webmaster)

 

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