Ramble On

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hiking the Jordan Pond Path at Acadia

I'm a fan of these "Best Easy Day Hikes" books, and we got the one for Acadia National Park to help us plan our visit.  Since the inn wasn't ready for our early arrival, Mary and I went to the park for an orientation drive, and ended up having lunch at the Jordan Pond House - with the pond there inviting us, we decided we might go ahead and take a hike around it.

Jordan Pond, with the Bubbles.
From the easy day hikes book, the introduction to this trail says:

"The hike offers expansive views of Jordan Pond, the Bubbles, and Jordan Cliffs... . The graded gravel path on the east side of the pond is particularly easy, and an amazing 4,000 feet of log bridges on the west side helps smooth the way for what would otherwise be a potentially wet, rocky, and root-filled trail."

According to the "Map My Hike" app, this hike is just a bit over 4 miles long, although the book claims it is only around 3 miles long.  Otherwise, there's nothing to complain about in the description - it makes for a fascinating hike, and if you don't have time to do anything else in the park, it provides a good overview of the experience.

Intrepid day hikers on the Jordan Pond trail.
The pond itself is remarkably pristine, so much so that it is used for drinking water.  It's clear enough that you could see the bottom in most places.  The granite rocks that litter the south and eastern shore are moraines, as we learned, and the other significant trace of the glacial age are the two small mountains at the northeast end of the lake - the Bubbles.

Granite talus and birches.
One of the geologic facts I've learned since our hike is the composition of the stone were were seeing.  There is a shist formation of ancient seafloor, and then three varieties of igneous rock, including the Cadillac Granite, which are the pinkish boulders seen in many of the photos.  These colorful rocks, juxtaposed against the stark which birches, were one of the highlights of the Jordan Pond hike for me.

As we continued around the lake we would experience several other terrains, including the 4,000 linear feet of the log bridges, which are highlighted in one of the accompanying photos.  We hadn't read about how long this part of the trail was before we got to it - and remarked about how much of this boardwalk there was as we made our way along.  It's 5/6 of a mile, quite a structure!

An example of the mountains in the park.

We were lucky with the timing of our visit to the park.  There weren't a lot of tourists yet - apparently, since the summer season is so short here things can get very crowded.  As it was, we encountered only a few other hiking parties during our walk - everybody just as much in awe of the sights as we were.

And at 4+ miles, this hike was plenty to work off the lobster stew and Popovers(!) that we had enjoyed for lunch at the Jordan Pond House.  Later we learned that Popovers(!) are also a feature of dinner at the Asticou Inn - so we ended up having more!  But at least we'd had an excellent introduction to Acadia National Park already, by the time we checked in to our room.

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