The Bubble Rock Adventure

My sister will identify with this. Back when we went to Oahu, Hawaii we hiked a trail that was mentioned on the travel channel as being and easy 5 minute hike. It wasn’t even close to that and the locals we mentioned it to had a good laugh over our misinformation.

Well the Bubble Rock Trail in Acadia wasn’t rated but it didn’t look too bad on the map. I think it was only supposed to be about .5 miles.  At the trail head it looked well-marked with only a slight incline. Like the Hawaii adventure we were dealing with very hot temperatures, if not in the 90’s then close to it and very humid.

Even so JR and I set off with curious optimism. While we were getting our cameras we met one young woman who had just come back down the trail. She said it “wasn’t too bad”  Adding that there’s just one tricky section.

So off we went. The cool relief of the shade didn’t last long as the exertion of an uphill walk soon offset any cooling benefit of the trees, plus the bugs began to find us. The bug spary was still in the car!

As we passed the first .1 mile marker, JR. asked if I wanted to keep going. I said yes as we only had .4 more miles to go.

The trail got a bit steeper and more rocky. My monopod came into service as a walking stick.

At the halfway mark we came to a series of steps. They weren’t rock or concrete but rather different levels of rock and dirt packed between logs. The going was very uneven and I began to be concerned. A twisted ankle here would be a disaster.

There were logs to sit on so I plunked down for a break and to think over the wisdom of going on. While we waited we saw a woodpecker and both JR and I worked on trying to get a picture. Finally we had to make a decision.

We started up the “steps”. At the first turn or “landing” we heard some crashing in the woods to our left. Two women came tumbling down the side of the mountain finally coming to a halt near us. They said they had made it to Bubble Rock and that it was not worth the effort. When they tried to come back down they couldn’t find the trail entrance so took off down the mountain on their own which is where we ran into them.

They told us that from where we were  the trail only got steeper and harder to climb as the rocks making up the steps got looser and had a tendency to roll under foot. They wished us luck and headed on down the trail.

I looked at JR and he looked at me. We could almost read each other’s minds…was it worth the risk to keep going? As much as I hate to give up when I start something, I finally said I didn’t want to go on. Instead of JR picking on me, he readily agreed and we turned around to follow the trail back to the parking area.

Going back down was trickier than going up and took all of our concentration to get off the loose rock steps.

From talking with other “successful” hikers, Bubble Rock is a large boulder that sits on a spring or brook or some other water source. If you push on the rock is will shift and the water bubbles around the base of the rock when you do that. I’m ok with skipping that.

Back in the car we cranked up the AC to cool off and drank the last of our water. Time to try to find the summit of Cadillac Mountain. It was past time for lunch and the map said there was a snack bar at the Visitor Center.

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