Since I was doing my part to ease the state budget woes with another furlough day, Sam and I made a quick visit to Acadia for some good food and an invigorating hike. After enjoying an awesome “Cadillac” steak and cheese at EPI in Bar Harbor with our map sprawled out on the table, we decided to tackle The Bubbles (north and south), which lie between Jordan Pond and Eagle Lake, two of the most popular bodies of water in Acadia. There is a famous glacial erratic perched high atop the South Bubble, hanging precariously over the edge of a sheer cliff looking like it’s only a matter of time before gravity has its way. Most visitors who see it for the first time can’t believe it stays put, and to get a sense of scale, that’s Sam standing beside the rock, and he’s a solid 6’4″ tall.
We left the Bubble Rock parking lot and took the gently sloping – and often wet at this time of year – Carry Trail down toward Eagle Lake. We were able to navigate many of the wettest parts of the trail via well-placed bogwalks, and after about 3/4 mile, we made a left turn on the drier carriage road that circles Eagle Lake. Before reaching Conners Nubble, we made another left and started uphill toward the North Bubble. As we climbed the gentle slope of the North Bubble (872 ft), we were rewarded with spectacular views to the north across Eagle Lake and toward Cadillac Mountain.
I always enjoy the classic Acadia hikes where, after making your way through the rich and often thick forest, you climb above most of the trees onto the smooth granite slopes and ridges. This was our first really nice day of the summer, and the 75 degree temperatures and cool ocean breezes were amazing. At approximately four miles in total length, the Tom St. Germain guidebook recommended trail we followed led us down to Eagle Lake from the parking lot, up and over the North Bubble, through the saddle between it and the South Bubble to the classic Bubble Rock itself, and then down a steep rocky slope to the edge of Jordan Pond. From there, a short and gentle climb brought us through the newly energized forest and back to our starting point.
I love this time of year in Acadia with the re-emergence of so much new life bombarding the senses. The forest was lush and vibrant with a canopy of new and perfect leaves displaying greens that looked almost unbelievably neon in color, especially when backlit by the midday sun. This was my first “real” hike of the year, and it felt great to get these old legs going again… just what the doctor ordered.