Over the Top

View from the top of South Bubble Mountain

GPS: 44.340919 -68.250236

BUBBLE ROCK

Bubble Rock is located on South Bubble Mountain, inside Acadia National Park, Maine. The peculiar aspect of this huge boulder is that it sits precariously on the edge of a cliff, seemingly ready to tumble down the mountainside.

To the north of Bubble Rock, you can see Eagle Lake in the distance, a body of water named by the troops who saw eagles flying over the lake in 1838.

ANCIENT HISTORY

The history of Bubble Rock dates way back to the last ice age. Between 20,000 and 95,000 BCE, the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered all of Canada and a portion of the United States. It was during that epoch that our Bubble Rock was carried 19 miles from a granite outcrop and deposited upon its delicate perch on South Bubble Mountain.

BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH

You can photograph Bubble Rock at any time of year, although this portion of the Park Loop Road is closed in winter. Autumn is the best time of year to hike up South Bubble Mountain and photograph Bubble Rock amidst multi-colored autumn foliage.

The boulder is in shadow during the early morning hours, so the better time of day to photograph Bubble Rock is in the late afternoon hours.

GETTING TO BUBBLE ROCK

The rock is accessible from the Bubble Rock Trail off Park Loop Road (Acadia). The parking area and trailhead lie 1.6 miles north of  the Jordan Pond parking lot.

From the Bubble Pond Trail parking, hike 1/10 mile on Bubble Rock Trail until you reach the junction of Jordan Pond Carry Trail, then continue straight up the trail toward South Bubble Mountain. At 1/3 mile, you reach a split in the trail marked North and South Bubble Mountain. Take the left trail up to South Bubble Mountain.

Once at the top, follow the painted markings on the rocks to Bubble Rock. The one-way distance on Bubble Rock Trail to the top is about 1/2 mile.

PHOTOGRAPHERS BEWARE

Bubble Rock Trail is an easy-to-moderate hike with a total elevation climb of 450 feet. It starts out easy but you’ll soon find yourself stepping over roots and climbing up granite steps that can be slippery when wet — watch your step.

Be sure to bring plenty of water and the usual protections against sun, wind, and insects. This is not a difficult hike — a steady pace should get you there in 20 minutes.

The trail is well marked until you get to the rocky summit. But at the top, you’ll be chasing painted markings on rocks to stay on the trail. Avoid leaving the summit too late in the day as it can be tricky to rejoin the main trail in the dark.

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