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Thread: Five Summits in Acadia National Park (6/2/09)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Baltimore, Maryland
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    Default Five Summits in Acadia National Park (6/2/09)

    The original idea was to hike to Conners Nubble from the Bubble Rock parking area via one of the connecting trails; little did we know what lay ahead.
    We noticed Conners Nubble while climbing the west face of Cadillac Mountain on Monday 6/1 and thought it would have nice views of the col between Sargent Mountain and the North Bubble.
    We went a short distance on what I call the Bubbles trail, which is the main route from the park loop road to the summits of the Bubbles. Making a right onto the Jordan Pond Carry Trail it took us in the direction of Eagle Lake and eventually the Eagle Lake Trail. The Jordan Pond Carry Trail had log bridges enabling continue without disturbing the boggy areas.

    Reaching the Eagle Lake Trail, we continued North with varying terrain ranging from bog to a pine needle strewn path (see below) to a rock hopping obstacle course.

    Upon reaching the Conners Nubble path it makes a hairpin turn, heading south, towards the summit where commanding panoramic views of Eagle Lake and surrounding mountains appear.

    While having a snack on the summit, off in the distance, on Eagle Lake we could hear the call of the Common Loon. We first heard the many sounds that a loon makes years ago while staying in a cabin nestled next to Millinocket Lake; and to this day it still gives me a thrill.
    Puffy clouds were everywhere.

    Leaving the 541 foot summit of Conners Nubble the North Bubble Trail descends steeply at first then less steep, and then ascends gradually through evergreens and granite slabs.

    Reaching the North Bubble we were greeted with spectacular views down to Jordan Pond and up to the mountains encircling the lake.

    Staying just long enough to get a few photos, we then meandered over to the South Bubble summit after descending, then ascending the col between the two hills.
    It?s on the east side, facing the park loop road that Bubble Rock can be seen.

    After having another snack and talking to a mother and daughter team we descended the col once more and made a left onto ?no name? trail leading south to the North shore of Jordan Pond.
    Looking back we captured the scene of the rocky face of the South Bubble.

    Skirting the North shore of Jordan we eventually reached the Deer Brook Trail where after a short ascent we were met with an impressive stone bridge built back in 1927.

    Ascending gradually over tree roots;

    and eventually very steep over stone steps and granite slabs we reached the summit of Sargent Mountain at elevation of 1,373 feet. The view towards Blue Hill was reminiscent of the colors of Autumn.

    Here we took an inventory of our energy levels to see if a skirt over to Penobscot Mountain along with a descent to the South shore of Jordan Pond was possible. We both agreed to add the additional summit and the possibility of having dinner at the Jordan Pond House to our agenda.
    All during our stay in Acadia National Park we noticed many unusual cairns deviating from the standard Bates cairn.
    Here?s an arched one being supported by an iron rod.

    Here?s an ?illegal? cairn that we spotted about 50 meters off the trail.

    A raven stands guard against the blue background of the Atlantic Ocean.

    To traverse between the two summits we took the Sargent Mountain South Ridge Trail which eventually took us to Sargent Mountain Pond.

    We reached the summit of Penobscot Mountain at 3:50 pm; still experiencing blue skies and puffy clouds.

    Temperatures remained in the lower 60?s with brisk winds all day.
    Our route down now became the open ledge of the Penobscot Mountain Trail giving us expansive views in every direction.

    Eventually the trail passes beneath some impressive cliffs and over bridges with log handrails.

    The Spring Trail intersects the Penobscot Mountain Trail near the West Branch bridge; turning left it took us to one of the many carriage roads in the park. Hoping to save more downhill scrambling on some steep terrain we opted to take the carriage road to Jordan Pond House; unfortunately we turned right instead of left and ended up going about a half a mile in the wrong direction. Retracing our steps to near the West Branch Bridge and deciding to take the steeper way, we descended the Spring Trail, eventually ending up at the Jordan Pond House eating dinner (with popovers) at about 6:15 pm.
    After having a wonderful dinner we headed north along the Jordan Pond trail where we spotted a tree with an unusual growth pattern.

    The fading light enhanced the already spectacular view of The Bubbles from the pond.

    A short distance further a granite walkway separates the pond from an outlet; here we saw a mother Merganser with her chicks trying to enter the south end of Jordan Pond.

    Not realizing that I was impeding their travel, the group patiently waited until I proceeded further down the path, eventually completing their journey.
    Nine-tenths of the way down the East end of the Jordan Pond trail we crossed over a stream via a rustic wooden arched bridge.

    Another half mile (along the Jordan Pond Carry Trail) and we were back at our van by 8 pm; tired but satisfied with a short hike that turned into a 10.5 mile trek across 5 summits.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Rhode Island
    Thanked 243 Times in 126 Posts


    Awesome!!! You guys managed to get my two favorite routes in Acadia combined into one. The pictures are gorgeous. Can never get enough of the views across those granite peaks out to the ocean. Particularly love the shot of the Merganser carrying her chicks. Thanks for taking us along on the rest of your trip!

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    South Dartmouth,MA.
    Thanked 173 Times in 116 Posts


    All I can say is WOW what stunning pictures. Looks like a great adventure. Thanks for posting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Lovettsville, VA
    Thanked 112 Times in 67 Posts


    Very nice report!

    So, I had to google "Bates Cairn" since I never heard a proper name given to it. I've become enamored with nice cairns (so much so, that it my end up being a tattoo.)

    Found this interesting PDF, that shows the Bates Cairn being an Acadia local thing. As well, I wondered about what would be an "illegal cairn." It talks about the tendency for folks in that area to build too many and essentially creating "rock graffiti." (Note: when googling "Bates Cairn" this post actually comes up in the top five of the results!)

    "This easier construction is important because Acadia hikers seem to have a never-ending tendency to tamper with cairns. Rocks are added or removed at will. Carefully built cairns mysteriously collapse. More cairns and rock graffiti in various forms appear from nowhere (Figure 3). Over a six week period on one trail, an average of about 1/3 of the cairns were altered every five days. Much time, money, and energy is expended to undo all of this." SOURCE PDF
    Huh! Consider this the 'learned something new' today for me.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Wahiawa, HI
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHRIS View Post
    All I can say is WOW what stunning pictures. Looks like a great adventure. Thanks for posting.
    I figured I would just quote Chris and say ditto!
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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