We found a ROCK-star in Acadia
July 22: About two weeks ago, we were planning to hike South Bubble Mountain to check out Bubble Rock. However, due to the July 4th holiday and crazy traffic in Acadia National Park, we weren’t able to find a parking spot anywhere close. So we moved on to Plan B, which turned out to be a wonderful option as well. That left South Bubble Mountain & Bubble Rock still on our list. So off we went…
This time we opted to take the Island Explorer which is a free bus service for visitors and residents of Mount Desert Island. The Island Explorer buses are propane-powered and supported by L.L. Bean, Friends of Acadia, and rider donations. There is a network of nine bus routes that provide transportation to all sorts of attractions, from hotels, campgrounds, hiking trails, island beaches, and the carriage roads. We hopped on the bus at our campground in Trenton (Narrows Too) and headed toward Village Green in downtown Bar Harbor. From there, we transferred to another bus with a final destination of Northeast Harbor. After 2 quick stops, we were at our destination for today - Bubble Pond. Or so we thought, according to the map Bubble Pond would be the closest bus stop to the South Bubble trailhead. As we were getting off the bus, we heard the driver say next stop “Bubble Rock”. While that would have put us a little closer to trail, we were able to enjoy a walk along the Jordan Pond & Eagle Lake Carriage Roads loops which brought us to a trail that connected with the trail we were planning to hike.
From the Eagle Lake Carriage Road loop we turned onto the Jordan Pond Carry trail for about a 1/2 mile. We then took a right onto Bubbles Divide and followed signs for South Bubble. After a third of a mile, we took a left onto Bubbles Trail for a a little more than a 1/2 mile climb to the top. When we approached the top, we find a post marking the summit at 768 feet. We made it to the top, but our goal was Bubble Rock which was just a short trail away. There were many rocks that at first appeared to be the real deal, but were not quite teetering on the edge.
A few turns and a small descent and we located the main attraction, Bubble Rock. Bubble Rock is a “glacial erratic” piece of multi-ton granite which appears to be perched precariously on the edge of the mountain. Due to its coarse-grained white granite which differs from the pink granite which is commonly found on Mount Desert Island, the boulder is thought to have originated over 40 miles away near Lucerne, Maine. The power of the glaciers is brought to the forefront when you see things like this. Makes us say, “WOW - that’s cool!”
After snapping a few photos of the best-known boulder in the state of Maine, we found a slab of granite to enjoy a snack & water break. Ice cold water from the Camelbak (affiliate link) and cheese & crackers kept chilled in our Ape Case camera bag (affiliate link) and we were happy hikers. Due to our home on wheels, we are usually happy campers, but today we played the role of cheerful hikers as well. The views were pretty spectacular from atop South Bubble Mountain, including views of Jordan Pond, Pemetic & Penobscot Mountains, and the Atlantic Ocean out in the distance.
While the views were great and the company lovely, it was time to move before we stiffened up. Oops - too late! The descent was quick and just under a mile. We were expecting the downhill to be much easier and while it was less tolling, it did take more attention watching your step to avoid face planting onto all the rocks and tree roots along the trail. Definitely a family-friendly hike and one we will likely travel again. We did take the shorter hike back with a bus pick-up at the Bubble Rock parking lot rather than the Bubble Pond parking area where we got off the bus. Back into Bar Harbor and then a transfer to our #9 Trenton bus and we found ourselves back home after another great day in the park.
We are so grateful that our full-time RVing lifestyle provides just the right mix of adventure in Acadia National Park (like today) and income from our workamping job in Bar Harbor, Maine. Stay tuned for our month two update from our job at Acadia Bike & Coastal Kayking…