On the Bubbles Trail in Acadia National Park, you take a walk through the woods and emerge atop massive granite rocks with dramatic views of inland ponds, mountains, and the ocean beyond. In the early hours of the morning, watch as the sky swirls with hues of orange and pink while you marvel at the infamous Bubble Rock, clinging precariously to the cliff’s edge. Get lost in a forested wonderland and soak in some of the most beautiful views Acadia National Park has to offer along with a famous park landmark on Bubbles Trail.
“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”John Muir
About Acadia’s Bubbles Trail
Location: Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Maine
Driving Time: 5 miles, 12 minutes to the trailhead from downtown Bar Harbor
Cost: Admission to Acadia National Park; $30 dollars for a 7-day pass for a private vehicle; National Parks passes accepted
Parking: Park at the Bubbles Divide Trail Head. This parking area can fill up. We found it was great to hike early – there was no one around for sunrise!
Directions: To get to the Bubbles Divide Trail Head parking area, head past the Hull Visitor Center toward Park Loop Road. Continue past Eagle Lake. The trailhead parking area will appear before you reach Jordan Pond.
Trailhead amenities: None. Bring water and pack out any trash!
Is the Bubbles Trail Hike for You?
This is a classic Acadia hike that offers beautiful views and includes a famous landmark. In our opinion, it should not be missed! This is a relatively short, easy-to-moderate hike that would be great for individuals or families. It is also a great dog-friendly option. If you are looking for a quick hike that offers great views and an impressively balanced boulder, or an adventure where you can bring your dog along, this would be a great choice.
Distance: 1.5 miles roundtrip to reach Bubble Rock and North Bubble and South Bubble viewpoints
Elevation Gained: 492 feet
Estimated Duration: 1-1.5 hours
When to Hike: Spring, Summer, Fall. The foliage was beautiful during our trip in October! Peak season is in summer.
Hiking Direction: Start on the Bubbles Divide Trail from the parking area. After hiking for about 0.25 miles and encountering some steps you will encounter an intersection. Continue right onto Bubbles Trail to North Bubble or go left to venture out to South Bubble and Bubble Rock first. The trail will be well-marked along the way, as seen in the picture below.
Warnings: Always check weather conditions before your hike and be sure to check for ticks (on you and your adventure pup)! Also take great care, especially with children and pets around Bubble Rock. There are steep drop-offs and ledges. Depending on what parts of the route you choose to explore, you may also experience some sections of rock scrambling near the South Bubble viewpoint looking out over Jordan Pond.
Route possibilities: This hike provides opportunities for 3 viewpoint destinations. South Bubble includes views of Jordan Pond and Bubble Rock. Bubble Rock is a precariously balanced boulder placed by glaciers that looks like it could easily fall off the cliff where it is perched with just the lightest touch. North Bubble provides some of the best views of Jordan Pond, Sargent Mountain, Pemetic Mountain, and Cranberry Isles.
For a longer hike, you could also combine this trail with Jordan Pond Path to create a loop. You can see an example of this on AllTrails.
Know before you go:
- The parking area can fill up, so we recommend hiking early in the day or late to avoid crowds.
- As the trail is heavily wooded before the summits, it can be muddy and you can expect uneven terrain, rocks, and roots in addition to the stairs that are a part of the trail
- If you have an adventurous dog or children, keep a close eye on the sections with rock scrambling and ledges. Our dog Azalea definitely gave us a few scares as she jumped from rock to rock, and tried to yank us along with her.
What We Found Fulfilling About The Bubbles Trail
This hike was the perfect mix of a peaceful saunter through the woods on a crisp morning and spectacular views that leave that sort of tingly feeling in your body due to their grandeur.
We started this hike right at sunrise in order to complete it before work on a weekday and it was beautifully quiet and allowed us the opportunity to explore without encountering any other hikers. This felt like a really special treat on a very popular trail, especially in the colorful fall season.
This hike is not strenuous but provides a variety of fun and interesting trail landscapes on the way to the summits of North Bubble and South Bubble. Once at the summits we also loved the ability to do a bit of scrambling (carefully) to experience different views of Jordan Pond and the surrounding landmarks.
For us, this trail was the perfect combination of a life-breathing forest, unique landmarks, breathtaking views, and wonderful fall foliage. We caught some of the first signs of colors turning at the beginning of October.
Fulfilling Travel Tips
Be Present. Be where your feet are.
Mindful moments in nature are a way to unplug and put yourself and your well-being first for a little while. Nature is healing and hiking is such a beautiful way to nourish the body and mind if you let yourself be fully present in the experience.
Mindful moments can come in a variety of forms, whether it is a formal meditation practice you bring to the trail, or just taking a few moments to express gratitude or check in with yourself. On the Bubbles Trail, there are many great vantage points to sit in the sounds, sights, and sensations of this inspiring place.
Perhaps take a few moments to scan the surroundings with curiosity and follow what brings you joy or close your eyes and take a few slow deep breaths. Make a few moments completely your own, honoring your needs and what you feel would be most impactful for you.
Bubbles Trail Overall
Acadia National Park is truly a treasure nestled on Maine’s coast. As the only National Park in the Northeast, it is a unique park in this charming area of the country. New England is also one of the best places in the country to view amazing fall foliage. Yes, we might be a bit biased. Acadia National Park would make the perfect addition to a fall road trip or leaf-peeping tour!
While the east coast is not typically synonymous with mountains, Acadia National Park is home to 26 mountains (albeit much smaller than what you might find out west) and over 150 miles of hiking trails in addition to 45 miles of historic carriage roads.
No matter how much time you have in this magical place, the Bubbles Trail is a great addition to any itinerary. A short and sweet way to get up close and personal with an iconic landmark, and enjoy some of the most beautiful views of major points of interest. Bubbles Trail is a great way to slow down, get out in the woods, and have an immersive Acadia National Park experience.
Interested in other great Acadia trails? Check out our review of Acadia’s Best Hikes
PLAN YOUR TRIP TO ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Places to stay near Acadia National Park:
Acadia National Park Campgrounds:
Other Bar Harbor Area Accommodations:
If you are looking for the perfect one-stop shop for comparing RV parks and glamping options and prices with instant booking, we highly recommend Campspot.
If you are looking to get closer to nature but don’t have an RV, consider renting one through Outdoorsy, or RV Share. We used both of these services when renting out our Casita and found them to be high quality and easy to use!
Another great option is glamping or nature-centric stays. Here are some great options near Acadia National Park:
You can explore all Bar Harbor area accommodations and compare prices on Booking.com, which is a great resource for unique stays at the best rates.
Looking for other Acadia National Park Resources as you plan your trip? Check out our other guides!
Please protect these areas – for the wildlife, the environment, and for the enjoyment of future generations. Practice Leave No Trace