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Triad Mountain Hiking Guide – Acadia National Park

By Thomas Tash

triad mountain

Triad Mountain Hiking Guide – Acadia National Park

May 1, 2024by Thomas Tash

Hiking Triad Mountain: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Acadia National Park’s Hidden Treasure

Acadia National Park, located on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, is a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting some of the most scenic and diverse hiking trails in the United States. Among its many trails, Triad Mountain stands out as a lesser-known but equally rewarding hike, offering stunning views, diverse terrain, and a peaceful retreat from the more crowded peaks. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about hiking Triad Mountain, including trail options, highlights, essential preparation tips, and parking information.

Getting to Triad Mountain

Triad Mountain is situated in the southern part of Acadia National Park, near the iconic Jordan Pond. The most common trailheads for Triad Mountain can be accessed from the Jordan Pond and Wildwood Stables parking areas.

Parking Details:

  • Jordan Pond Parking Area: This lot is popular and often fills up quickly, especially during peak season. Arrive early in the morning to secure a spot. It provides easy access to multiple trails, including those leading to Triad Mountain.
  • Wildwood Stables Parking Area: Located near the stables, this lot is another convenient starting point for hiking Triad Mountain. It’s usually less crowded than Jordan Pond, making it a great alternative if you prefer a quieter start.

Trail Options

Triad Mountain offers several trails, each providing unique experiences and varying levels of difficulty. Here are the primary trails you can choose from:

1. Triad Trail

The Triad Trail is the most direct route to the summit of Triad Mountain. Starting from the Jordan Pond area, this 2.4-mile round-trip trail features a moderate ascent through forests and across rocky ledges. The trail offers stunning views of Jordan Pond, Pemetic Mountain, and the surrounding landscapes, making it a rewarding hike for those seeking panoramic vistas.

2. Spring Trail

The Spring Trail is a slightly longer route that begins at the Wildwood Stables parking area. This 3-mile round-trip trail winds through dense forests and along picturesque streams before climbing to the summit of Triad Mountain. The trail is moderately challenging and provides a peaceful hiking experience with beautiful scenery along the way.

3. Deer Brook Trail

For a more challenging and adventurous hike, the Deer Brook Trail offers a steep ascent with some rock scrambling. Starting near the Jordan Pond area, this 3.2-mile round-trip trail climbs sharply up the northern side of Triad Mountain. The Deer Brook Trail offers dramatic views and a more secluded hiking experience.

4. Jordan Pond Carry Trail

The Jordan Pond Carry Trail is a scenic route that combines a peaceful lakeside walk with a moderate climb to Triad Mountain. This 3.6-mile round-trip trail begins at the Jordan Pond House and follows the shoreline of Jordan Pond before ascending through forests to the summit. The trail provides stunning views of Jordan Pond and the surrounding mountains.

What to Expect on the Trails

Hiking Triad Mountain 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 to the summit is approximately 897 feet. Be prepared for a steady climb, especially on the Deer Brook and Triad Trails.
  • Views: Triad Mountain offers panoramic views of Mount Desert Island, including Jordan Pond, Pemetic Mountain, and the Atlantic Ocean. On clear days, you can see the Cranberry Isles and even parts of the mainland.
  • 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 Triad Mountain

The best time to hike Triad Mountain 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 Triad Mountain. 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

Triad Mountain offers numerous scenic points and highlights that make the hike truly special:

  • Jordan Pond: From various points along the trails, enjoy stunning views of the crystal-clear waters of Jordan Pond, flanked by the iconic North and South Bubble Mountains.
  • Pemetic Mountain: The trails provide breathtaking views of Pemetic Mountain, offering a different perspective on one of Acadia’s highest peaks.
  • The Summit: The summit of Triad Mountain offers panoramic vistas of Mount Desert Island, the Atlantic Ocean, and the surrounding peaks. It’s an ideal spot for a well-deserved break and photo opportunity.

Nearby Attractions

While Triad Mountain is a highlight in itself, 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 Triad Mountain and a must-visit for any park visitor.

Hiking Triad Mountain in Acadia National Park offers breathtaking views, varied trails, and a rewarding outdoor experience. Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a moderate challenge or a casual adventurer seeking beautiful scenery, Triad Mountain has something to offer. By preparing adequately and respecting the natural environment, you can enjoy a safe and enjoyable hike on this spectacular peak. Ready to explore Triad Mountain? Buy your Acadia National Park Pass here and start planning your next adventure.

*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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