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North Bubble & South Bubble Mountains Hiking Guide Acadia National Park

By Thomas Tash

north bubble & south bubble mountains

North Bubble & South Bubble Mountains Hiking Guide Acadia National Park

April 15, 2024by Thomas Tash

Hiking North and South Bubble Mountains: A Complete Guide to Acadia National Park’s Iconic Peaks

Acadia National Park, located on Maine’s stunning Mount Desert Island, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Among its many picturesque hikes, the trails to North and South Bubble Mountains stand out for their breathtaking views, unique geological features, and moderate difficulty, making them perfect for families and casual hikers alike. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about hiking the North and South Bubble Mountains, from trail options and highlights to essential preparation tips.

Getting to the Bubble Mountains

The trailheads for North and South Bubble Mountains are conveniently located near Jordan Pond, one of Acadia’s most iconic spots. You can access the trailheads via the Park Loop Road. Ample parking is available at the Bubbles Parking Area, but it can fill up quickly, especially during peak season. Arriving early is advisable to secure a spot and enjoy a peaceful start to your hike.

Trail Options

The Bubble Mountains offer several trail options, each providing unique experiences and varying levels of difficulty. Here are the primary trails you can choose from:

1. Bubbles Trail

The Bubbles Trail is the most direct route to both North and South Bubble Mountains. Starting from the Bubbles Parking Area, this 1-mile trail ascends moderately steep terrain, leading to the col (saddle) between the two peaks. From here, you can choose to hike either North or South Bubble or both. The trail is well-marked and popular among families and casual hikers.

2. Jordan Pond Carry Trail

The Jordan Pond Carry Trail is a slightly longer route that begins at the Jordan Pond House. This 1.5-mile trail winds along the scenic shoreline of Jordan Pond before climbing through forests to reach the col between North and South Bubble. It’s a great option for those who want to combine a peaceful lakeside walk with their mountain hike.

3. Bubble Rock Trail

For those specifically interested in South Bubble and its famous Bubble Rock, the Bubble Rock Trail is the best choice. Starting from the Bubbles Parking Area, this 0.5-mile trail climbs steadily to South Bubble’s summit. The trail is short but steep, offering quick access to the iconic glacial erratic perched on the edge of the mountain.

What to Expect on the Trails

Hiking the Bubble Mountains offers a mix of terrains, including forested paths, rocky scrambles, and open ledges. Here’s what you can expect on your hike:

  • Elevation Gain: The elevation gain for both North and South Bubble is moderate, with each peak rising around 760 feet. The trails involve steady climbs but are manageable for most hikers.
  • Views: Both peaks offer stunning views of Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake, and the surrounding mountains. South Bubble provides particularly dramatic vistas, with Bubble Rock adding a unique photo opportunity.
  • Flora and Fauna: The trails are surrounded by diverse vegetation, including spruce and fir forests, wildflowers, and moss-covered rocks. Wildlife sightings are common, with opportunities to see birds, deer, and occasionally, moose.

Best Time to Hike the Bubble Mountains

The best time to hike North and South Bubble Mountains is from late spring to early fall. During this period, the weather is mild, and the trails are generally in good condition. Fall offers the added bonus of spectacular foliage, with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows creating a stunning backdrop. Summer can be busy, so consider an early morning or late afternoon hike to avoid the crowds and enjoy cooler temperatures.

Preparation and Safety Tips

Proper preparation is essential for a safe and enjoyable hike on the Bubble Mountains. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

  • Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction. The trails can be rocky and uneven, so proper footwear is crucial.
  • Clothing: Dress in layers to accommodate changing weather conditions. A moisture-wicking base layer, insulating mid-layer, and waterproof outer layer are recommended.
  • Water and Snacks: Bring plenty of water and high-energy snacks. Hydration is key, especially during warmer months.
  • Trail Map and Navigation: Carry a trail map or download a GPS app with offline maps. Cell service can be spotty in the park.
  • Safety Gear: A first aid kit, headlamp, and multi-tool are essential items for any hike.
  • Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and respecting wildlife.

Highlights and Scenic Points

North and South Bubble Mountains offer numerous scenic points and highlights that make the hike truly special:

  • Bubble Rock: The famous glacial erratic perched on the edge of South Bubble. This massive boulder, deposited by glaciers thousands of years ago, is a must-see and provides a unique photo opportunity.
  • Summit Views: Both peaks offer panoramic views of Jordan Pond, Eagle Lake, and the surrounding landscape. South Bubble’s summit provides a particularly dramatic vista, with Bubble Rock adding to the spectacle.
  • Jordan Pond: The crystal-clear waters of Jordan Pond are visible from both peaks, creating a stunning contrast with the surrounding greenery.

Nearby Attractions

While the Bubble Mountains are a highlight in themselves, there are several nearby attractions worth exploring:

  • Jordan Pond House: Famous for its popovers and tea, the Jordan Pond House is a great place to relax and enjoy a meal after your hike. The outdoor seating offers beautiful views of Jordan Pond and the Bubble Mountains.
  • Carriage Roads: Acadia’s historic carriage roads offer miles of scenic, car-free pathways perfect for walking, biking, or horseback riding. The roads are easily accessible from the Jordan Pond area.
  • Cadillac Mountain: The highest point in Acadia, offering stunning sunrise and sunset views. It’s a short drive from the Bubble Mountains and a must-visit for any park visitor.

Hiking North and South Bubble Mountains in Acadia National Park offers an exceptional experience filled with breathtaking views, unique geological features, and a moderate challenge suitable for most hikers. The serene environment, coupled with iconic sights like Bubble Rock, makes these trails a must-visit for anyone exploring the park. Whether you’re an avid hiker seeking new adventures or a family looking for a memorable outdoor activity, the Bubble Mountains provide the perfect backdrop. Ensure you’re well-prepared, respect the natural surroundings, and take the time to savor the stunning vistas from these peaks. Ready to embark on this adventure? Buy your Acadia National Park Pass here and start planning your unforgettable hike.

*Before embarking on any hike, you should always consult a map and stop by a visitor center or ranger station to ask a ranger about the latest trail conditions. Trail conditions can change rapidly due to weather or other factors, and park rangers can provide the most current information to ensure your hike is safe and enjoyable.

Thomas Tash

Tom Tash is the Founder and Co-Owner of Acadia East Campground and Pocket Parks Campgrounds. Tom began his career in Outdoor Recreation at the University of Maine at Machias before joining the City of Portland Recreation Department and becoming the Recreation Director for the Town of Bridgton. Tom became deeply invested in the national parks as the Marketing Director for a national park travel guide company. He co-founded Acadia East Campground in 2017/18.

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