13 October 2020
Since my last trip to Acadia National Park in 2012, I’ve had a sunrise or sunset hike to the Bubbles on my bucket list. It’s a short hike but the view south over Jordan Pond to the ocean is stunning.
My parents and I started hiking in the dark well before sunrise. There was just enough light to hike by and we quickly made our way up a series of granite ledges to the top of North Bubble.
There was one other photographer already setup in the most obvious spot overlooking the lake. I found another large rock clearing and setup my GoPro to take a timelapse while I unpacked.
The sunset was good but not great. It was very windy with dense cloud cover. As the timelapse shows, the clouds were rocketing over Mt Desert Island and occasionally picking up flashes of color as the sun rose to the east.
All was not lost however. As the sun rose and brightened the east-facing slopes of Penobscot Peak, I could start to see several patches of stunningly brilliant red and orange foliage.
The colorful leaves seemed to be spilling down the slope from the top of the mountain right down to the water of Jordan Pond. As the sun rose higher the colors brightened and I think the foliage ended up being more impressive than the actual sunset.
The other photographer packed up and left just after actual sunrise (breaking a cardinal rule of mine) and I moved over to his empty spot. Unfortunately, there was a giant metal rod impaled in the rock right in the foreground.
At this point the sun was fully above the horizon so we left North Bubble and hiked down through the saddle to South Bubble. We stopped at several overlooks along the way as the foliage in the woods and around the pond continued to surprise me.
We finished the hike by descending down the steep south face of South Bubble and looping back to the parking lot along the base. The total loop was just under 2.5 miles - one of the better effort to reward ratio hikes I’ve done.