The Bubbles, Acadia National Park


As you drive around the western side of Acadia’s loop road, you leave the coast behind, and instead enjoy views of hills and lakes.  Two of the most boobiful, I mean beautiful hills in this area are known as the Bubbles.

To get the best view of both perky peaks, stop at Jordan Pond.  It’s also a nice place to have lunch or dinner in the middle of Acadia National Park, or stock up on your souvenirs.  I covered the Jordan Pond area on the Carriage Roads page.

Drive a little further up the park loop road, and you’ll find the Bubbles parking area, and the trailhead for the hike up both Bubbles.

The South Bubble is closest to the road, so you’ll start hiking up it first.  Thanks to the easy access, and the great rewards awaiting at Bubble Rock at the top, the South Bubble gets a lot more hikers than the North Bubble.

If you were expecting an easy, level trail, what were you thinking?  After all, you are climbing to the top of a hill, over a very short distance (about 1/2 mile, one way).  Much of the trail resembles a natural staircase, reinforced with logs to keep it from all washing away.

Huff and puff your way to this split in the trail, and you’ve made it halfway there.  This is where the trail to the North Bubble splits off from the South Bubble trail.  The North Bubble summit is only 3/10 of a mile (500 meters) away, but since I was trying to save enough time to hike another trail after this one, I skipped the North Bubble.


Another crossroads appears, just a couple of minutes past the North Bubble split.  Another 3/10 of a mile from here, and you’ll arrive at the north end of Jordan Pond.  Take a left and continue on, another 2/10 of a mile to the top of the South Bubble.

Shortly before the summit, there’s a break in the trees, and a rocky ledge at the side of the trail gives you a good look north, towards the other Bubble.  Just a little bit of uphill remains…

… until you reach the well-marked peak of the South Bubble (elevation 768 feet/238 meters).  The top of the hill is a respectable accomplishment, but it’s not all there is to see up here.

Just a short distance beyond the peak, the South Bubble is topped off with an exposed rocky surface, which gets the trees out of the way, and allows fantastic views to the south (Jordan Pond is nearly hidden, but the Cranberry Isles and the Bear Island Lighthouse are visible in the distance)…

… and to the north (Eagle Lake).

Since this is a popular trail, you might have to wait a while to get a shot of Bubble Rock (a.k.a. Balance Rock) — the huge boulder that’s constantly flirting with a possible roll down the side of the Bubble.

Bubble Rock is known as a “glacial erratic” — a rock that doesn’t match the surrounding rocks, because it was carried there and left behind by a glacier. 

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