This is one of Acadia's best family outings. It's the easiest way to climb The Bubbles, on your way to the park's iconic Bubble Rock, a carefully balanced giant boulder that kids of all ages will have fun trying to push off the mountain. Be sure to bring a camera along because you're going to want to remember your outing, as well as the great views, for years to come.
Although this trail is short, it can provide a great deal of fun, particularly for families. Bubble Rock, which is a “seemingly” precariously perched giant boulder on the top of the South Bubble (and which came from a region much further north of Acadia during the Earth’s glacial period), is the main source of amusement. Many have taken photos of family and friends pretending to push the boulder off the mountain, or, in some cases, pretending to hold it up and keep it from crashing down off the summit. Either way, it makes for one of those classic vacation shots. Kids find it especially amusing (as long as they can handle the approximate 300 ft climb to the top of the South Bubble over the course of 0.6 miles).
Please note, however, you can’t technically get to Bubble Rock directly from this trail. Nevertheless, this path does simply intersect with the Bubbles Trail
, and that combined route is your easiest and most direct access to the boulder. Of the two main ways to Bubble Rock via the Bubbles Trail
, the northern approach from the northern part of the South Bubble is the gentler of the two, while the southern part of Bubble Trail, which is accessed from the Jordan Pond Path
at the southern base of the mountain, connects to the summit in a much steeper manner.
The best place to park to access this trail is at the small Bubble Rock parking lot on the west side of the Park Loop Road located between Pemetic Mountain and The Bubbles. The free Island Explorer bus also drops off there, should you want to forego the car.
This trail starts off from its eastern end by contouring across the northeastern side of the South Bubble for 0.2 miles. It then climbs up through the saddle between The Bubbles for another 0.1 miles, where it then links up with the southern part of the Bubbles Trail
. For those who don’t want to view Bubble Rock, just continue on the Bubbles Divide Trail
, but for those who want to see the giant boulder, turn southward on the Bubbles Trail
and then climb for approximately another 0.3 miles to the summit at 768 feet. Bubble Rock is located slightly downhill on the eastern side of the mountain. Be sure to also go to the southern half of summit to check out the spectacular view of Jordan Pond, arguably, Acadia’s most well-known and picturesque body of water.
Once you’ve finished at the summit, you can either retrace your steps and return to parking lot, or, if you want to continue on and do the entire Bubbles Divide Trail
, you should turn westward when you get back to the saddle and proceed down the mountainside until you run into the Jordan Pond Path
at the very northern end of the pond. The elevation change is much more significant when you head down the western part of this trail, with the contours stacked up very closely for about 0.2 miles. It does, however, get much more gradual in the last 0.1 miles. Obviously, you can approach this trail from either end, but most people come at it from the east, from the Bubble Rock parking lot. Both trailheads begin in well-forested areas until they get closer to the summit and hit the rocky, exposed, section of the trail.
Overall, this trail can get a bit crowded in the summer months, but it’s still a fun adventure for those who want to take the easiest route up the South Bubble to see Bubble Rock. Climbing this intermediate trail and checking out the famous giant boulder can provide some great memories.