When most people think about Acadia National Park they think about hiking Cadillac Mountain. What they don’t realize is there are a whole lot of other awesome hikes in the park. After spending time hanging out (quite literally in a hammock) at Jordan Pond I decided I just had to hike the Bubbles. From the southern end of the pond, they looked so fun. Upon researching I saw that the Bubbles hike wasn’t going to be all that long and decided we needed to add more. Little did I know I was going to pick one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done in my life.
The Bubbles are a pretty popular hike. Expect to find other people along the trail. We started at the Jordan Pond parking lot, walking along the pond for our first mile. From there we headed up South Bubble via the Bubbles Trail. The trail isn’t very long but it is fairly steep. There was one section that we were full on rock scrambling with our hands and our feet. Both Jayne and I were happy I decided on a loop hike so that we didn’t have to hike back down that way.
It was a hazy, hot, and humid day and boy were we sweating. I could barely hold onto the rocks while I was scrambling up. Once at the summit, we were greeted with a slight breeze to help cool us down. More great views. This time we could look out over Jordan Pond and beyond to the ocean. We also got a better look at the rest of our hike to come over Sargent and Penobscot Mountains. Today was all about taking our time and enjoying the views. We were in no rush to get done.
From South Bubble we hiked down to the Bubbles Divide Trail and then up North Bubble for our only out and back of the day. North Bubble is higher than South and continued our string of Kodak Moment views. Back down Bubbles Trail, onto Bubbles Divide, and down to Jordan Pond we went. At the northern most end of the pond, we can across a loon nesting. Everyone along the trail quieted down as to not disturb the wildlife. We were only along the pond for a short bit before heading back up. This time we followed Deer Brook Trail.
I was up in the air about taking Deer Brook all of the way to Sargent South Ridge Trail and doing another out and back or going up the much steeper Sargent East Cliffs Trail. After talking to a couple that had just come from the East Cliffs Trail we decided to go that way and keep our loop going. The trail was steep, but it was made with hundreds of rock steps. This makes it a lot easier on your calves and Achilles. After maybe a half mile we got out of the woods. The view was phenomenal! Behind us, we could see Cadillac Mountain, Eagle Lake, Jordan Pond, and out to the ocean. There was a downside. The sun was beating down on the rocks and there was no wind.
We were past due for lunch and I really wanted to find a shady spot to boil water for our Good To-Good Marinara with Penne. Right before the last stretch to the top, there was actually a small shaded portion of the trail. It almost seemed odd boiling water with it being so hot out, shouldn’t I eat something cool? Also, seemingly counter-productive, I put on a long sleeve shirt. My sunscreen was sweating off and my backpack straps were chafing my shoulders. I had faith that there would be wind at the summit, so I would only have to suffer with the extra heat for a short time.
Sure enough, I was right. We hit the summit and met the wind with open arms. It felt so nice, so very welcomed. We were also blown away by how awesome the summit was. We had the whole place to ourselves with 360-degree views. Sargent Mountain is the second tallest mountain in Acadia National Park. North, south, east, west, we saw it all. How could we have this great of a view all to ourselves? Sargent Mountain isn’t some remote peak. Sure it doesn’t have the name recognition as Cadillac, but it also doesn’t have the road up to the top.
We were pretty speechless. We just kept saying how much we loved this view. The other mountains, the ocean, the lakes, the ponds. We had it all, and we had it to ourselves. Even when we were done on the summit and started to make our way south we still had the views. We were walking toward the ocean. After almost 1.5 hours of seeing no one, we came across a family of four coming up the trail. They had been up Sargent before and bet that they would only come across 2 other hikers. They were right! We talked about how spectacular this was and how so many people were missing out.
My stomach was really rumbling at this point and I was ready to dive into our lunch, that was way past the 20 minute wait time to be ready. We debated eating up along the ridge with the views, but in the end decided to go down to Sargent Pond to sit in the shade. Again, we had the pond to ourselves. This gave us the chance to take off our shoes and socks and really take a nice break. Our lunch was chowed down rather quickly. After 4.5 hours we certainly needed it.
Break time was over and we were off to our last mountain of the loop. It was only a short uphill to get to Penobscot Mountain. This time we were a little closer to the ocean and could look back north and see all of what we had just done. We sat there and named all of the mountains that we could off the top of our heads. Some we had hiked, and others we vowed to come back and do another time. Coming off Penobscot we started to see more people coming up. We made our way back to the southern end of Jordan Pond and then to our car. Our giant loop of Jordan Pond was done.
Coming up 7/15 hiking Acadia Mountain and visiting the Bass Harbor Lighthouse (a second time)
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