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Jordan Pond a special fall experience at Acadia National Park

One in a series of historic trail highlights celebrating the Acadia Centennial

The path around Jordan Pond is an ideal hike for any time of year but it is especially beautiful in the fall.

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Fall colors light up the shore of Jordan Pond and the Bubbles.

The fall colors around Jordan Pond are spectacular if you catch them at peak, as we did on Saturday, Oct. 15.

We especially enjoyed the classic view of the North and South Bubbles, looking north from the southern shore near the Jordan Pond House, the only restaurant in Acadia National Park.

The pond is crystal clear, maybe because it is a public water supply and no swimming is allowed. The authoritative ” Guide’s Guide to Acadia National Park” says Jordan Pond is the “clearest lake” in Maine, but that could be difficult to corroborate.

The twin mountains called the Bubbles rise from the shore of the pond. North Bubble, at 872 feet, is ranked No. 13 for highest among Acadia National Park’s 26 peaks and South Bubble, at 766 feet and home to the iconic Bubble Rock, is No. 16.

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South Bubble bears a bit of a resemblance to The Beehive from this angle on the eastern shore of Jordan Pond. Both were shaped by the same glacial forces.

Like other lakes in Acadia, Jordan Pond is glacial, formed in a valley and then walled by debris.

The  “Guide’s Guide” says the Jordan Pond area contains a beautiful collection of glacial features. The massive valley between Penobscot Mountain, on the west side, and Pemetic Mountain, on the east side, filled with water to create the pond.

“The southern shore, where the Jordan Pond House sits, is a glacial moraine formed from glacial debris deposits,” the guide says. “These deposits form a wall at the southern end of the valley and create a natural dam that holds back the waters of Jordan Pond.” Continue reading

Bubble Rock in Acadia National Park a popular destination

Another in a series of historic hiking trail highlights leading up to the Acadia Centennial

Dating back to the late 1800s, the trail to South Bubble and its precariously perched 100-ton Bubble Rock has lured scientists, artists, outdoor enthusiasts and first-time visitors for generations, long before the area was protected as Acadia National Park.

Bubble Rock in Acadia National Park helped prove the Ice Age

100-ton Bubble Rock in Acadia National Park moved about 20 miles by glaciers.

Eons of geological forces are laid bare there if you know what clues to look for, as a ranger-led “Mountain Mysteries” program reveals during the summer months.

In fact, Bubble Rock was one of those clues that led 19th century scientist Louis Agassiz to theorize that massive glaciers once covered the earth and pushed big boulders around, not floods of biblical proportions as had been previously thought.

The moderate 1-mile round-trip hike starts from the Bubble Rock parking area and Island Explorer bus stop and takes you first along the Bubbles Divide Trail, the historic route that goes between the South Bubble and North Bubble, then up the lower of the twin mountains. Continue reading