The crystal clear waters of Jordan Pond lie in the heart of Acadia National Park on the east side of Mount Desert Island.
The pond is framed by the steep walls of Penobscot Mountain to the west and Pemetic Mountain to the east, and with the delightfully curved profile of The Bubbles to the north, it is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the entire park.
Centrally located on the two-way section of the Park Loop Road between Hulls Cove Visitor Center and Seal Harbor, Jordan Pond is a hub of activity, with many hiking trails and carriage roads for bicycling and horseback riding emanating from this scenic area.
The Jordan Pond Nature Trail circumnavigates the pond, while other walking trails extend east and west to reach the summits Pemetic Mountain and The Triad, Jordan Cliffs, and Penobscot and Sargent mountains. Historic carriage roads lead at a comfortable grade high above the west shore of Jordan Pond, and to an intricate network that circles not only Day Mountain, but the jumble of peaks that include Gilmore Peak, Parkman and Cedar Swamp mountains. Nearby Wildwood Stables features horse-drawn carriage tours, an amazing experience.
The south shore of Jordan Pond is home to the Jordan Pond House, which has been serving its famous baked popovers and homemade ice cream, tea and fresh lemonade to summer visitors since 1870, when it was founded by Melvan Tibbetts. The view from the expansive lawn up the length of the pond to the twin peaks of North and South Bubbles is one not to be missed, especially when the pond is calm and the mirrored reflection of the shapely peaks is seen across the water’s surface.
Jordan Pond House is the only full-service restaurant within Acadia National Park, and in its birch bark dining rooms with massive fieldstone fireplaces, visitors can enjoy everything from a simple luncheon of soup and sandwich to a sumptuous dinner of seafood chowder, fresh Maine lobster, prime rib of beef, and a variety of other specialties.
A visitor information desk, gift shop, snack bar, and restrooms can be found on the ground level.
Trailhead parking lot is just off the Park Loop Road. Here you’ll find the start of the gentle Jordan Pond Nature Trail (can also be accessed directly from Jordan Pond House) and several other hiking paths, as well as a boat launch for launching a small-engine motorboat (less than 10 horsepower0, and canoes and kayaks. Swimming is not allowed, since Jordan Pond is part of the public water supply. Fishing for landlocked salmon and brook and lake trout is popular; a Maine fishing license is required.
The Jordan Pond House and the trailhead parking lot are served by the free Island Explorer shuttle bus, a nice alternative to driving during the busy peak times of park use.