Jordan Pond Path in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, in Maine is a moderately challenging dog friendly hike. This loop trail is 3.2 miles with views of The Bubbles (South and North Bubble Mountains) and the pristine waters of the pond in the glacially carved valley. To access the trail, follow the signs past the Jordan Pond House. We chose to hike the trail counterclockwise, by starting to the right of the loop on the east side. Here the trail begins as an easy walk on compact dirt to a beach area at the northern end of the pond. From there the trail becomes more difficult for dogs with rocky areas for them to climb over, and then to an approximately one mile section of a plank boardwalk to traverse. On the day we visited, The Bubbles were shrouded in fog, but even with our obstructed view, Jordan Pond Path is an interesting place to explore Acadia's beautiful glacially carved landscape.
Dogs are allowed on-leash. Some things to keep in mind when hiking with dogs at Jordan Pond Path is Jordan Pond supplies public drinking water. Therefore, NO dogs or people are allowed in the water. Also, the plank walkway is slippery when wet and difficult for paws, but it is necessary to try to keep dogs on the planks to protect the delicate landscape. The rocky section of the trail, although brief, can be difficult for dogs not accustomed to the uneven terrain, and even our seasoned Golden Retrievers needed assistance maneuvering over the boulders in a few spots. However, the biggest obstacle we found while hiking with dogs at Jordan Pond Path is how crowded it can get even in bad weather. We purposely visited mid-morning on a rainy, foggy day and found ourselves stopping every few feet on the narrow trail to let other hikers pass. Making for a very slow hike, but giving us plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the views, while also meeting people from around the world. We recommend visiting early in the morning during off-peak times. Parking is available at Jordan Pond House and at an overflow lot for the trail, but it is very difficult to find a spot on busy days. So yet another reason to visit earlier in the morning.
To extend your visit, dogs are allowed in the outdoor seating area of the Jordan Pond House and are greeted with a refreshing bowl of cold water, which is a perfect way to relax after exploring the trail. However, please note the outdoor seating area is not always open due to the weather and seasonal schedule. Therefore, call ahead to confirm if planning to eat there with a dog, and be flexible if the weather doesn't cooperate. Another option is the "grab and go" refreshments available at the dog friendly observation deck. Although food options are limited compared to the restaurant, you can still enjoy their world famous popovers to go, and other refreshments. I recommend their blueberry muffins, which is a longstanding tradition with our family.
Please Note: Acadia National Park passes are needed to access Jordan Pond from May through October. Passes are available on-site when the gift shop is open or by visiting the National Park Service. Also please note there are two hiking trails at Jordan Pond. The "Jordan Pond Nature Trail" is a very easy 1.4 mile hike, with self-guiding brochures. The "Jordan Pond Path," also known as the "Jordan Pond Shore Trail," is the more moderate 3.2 miles loop trail described here.