“A gentle hike that links two of Acadia’s great spots together - Asticou Map House and Jordan Pond.”
— David Onkst
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Lake — River/Creek — Spring — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
This easy-going path links Asticou Map House, Thuya Garden, and Asticou Garden, with Jordan Pond and its well-known Pond House and restaurant (which has a massive lawn that features one of Acadia’s most iconic views). It is a gently graded path, complete with stone staircases, wooden bridges and intermittent gravel sections. For those looking for an easy to moderate hike with little climb, it’s hard to go wrong with this trail.
This trail intersects with eight different trails and carriage roads along its 1.9 miles. Several of those paths connect with the top of Cedar Swamp Mountain and Penobscot Mountain, both to the north, and offer a number of circuit hike options for those who want a more strenuous outing. You can access this trail from multiple directions, so it is best to consult a map to figure out your approach. The most accessible parking is close to either end of the path - either at the massive Jordan Pond House lot within half a mile of the northeastern trailhead (which itself rests just off the southwestern tip of Jordan Pond), or the Asticou Garden Parking Lot that is just a little over a mile to the west of the southwestern trailhead (which itself is located at the historic Asticou Map House). For anyone who wants to ditch their car, the free Island Explorer Bus also stops at both of those sites.
This trail dates back to the late 19th century - long before Acadia became a national park - but it has received several upgrades since then. It is one of the park’s better maintained paths, mainly because it is so heavily trafficked. Casual Acadia visitors even get out on this trail; it’s not just a hiker's path. Essentially, it is a valley style path that threads its way between Cedar Swamp Mountain and Penobscot Mountain to the north, and Eliot Mountain and Mitchell Hill to the south, and it has several quaint streams that run alongside it and across it. There is also a surprising number of squirrels and other wildlife for such a well-travelled trail.
If you are looking for one of Acadia’s more casual hikes, this trail is a fine choice. It not only links two key areas of the park together, but it also offers you a number of options to connect several more extreme trails together and hike up/down Penobscot Mountain and/or Cedar Swamp Mountain.
Flora & Fauna
Multiple pines, ferns, and other typical Acadia flora. There are also several squirrels and birds along the way.