Difficulty: Moderate-strenuous. The difficulty of this hike lies in the steep grade of the trail and the steady climbing involved. Exposed roots also make footing tricky in some areas.
How to get there: From the junction of Route 3 and Route 233 in Bar Harbor, head southwest on Route 223 for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Park Loop Road. Three parking areas will allow you to access the network of trails that leads to Pemetic Mountain. Follow Park Loop Road south to the Bubble Pond parking area (about 1.1 miles beyond the turnoff for Cadillac Mountain), The Bubbles parking area (just beyond), or the Jordan Pond North Parking Lot, where the boat launch is located.
Information: Pemetic Mountain rises 1,248 feet above sea level on Mount Desert Island, making it one of the taller peaks on the island. (Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the island, is just 1,530 feet above sea level.) Hikers have several options for hiking Pemetic Mountain, which offers panoramic views that include nearby Jordan and Bubble ponds, Cadillac and Penobscot mountains, and the Cranberry Isles.
The mountain is located in Acadia National Park, which requires payment of an entrance fee between May 1 and Oct. 31, no matter how you enter or where you go in the park. Entrance passes (good for entrance into the park for one vehicle for seven days) are $20 from June 23-early October; $10 May 1-June 22 and early October-Oct. 31. An annual pass for the park is $40. And an individual entrance pass (for a pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle, etc. for seven days) is $5. For information, visit www.nps.gov/acad.
There are three different parking areas – Jordan Pond North Parking Lot, Bubble Pond parking area, and the Bubbles parking area — hikers can use to access Pemetic Mountain trails.
There are so many options in this trail network that it might get confusing. Even though the trails are well-marked and excellently maintained, and detailed signs direct hikers at each junction, it’s always good to carry a map of the trails.
The longest version of the hike is a 5.7-mile loop hike, which visits Bubble Pond, Jordan Pond and the woods bordering Eagle Lake.
The loop hike can be shortened to 4 miles if hikers start at Jordan Pond parking area and take the Jordan Pond Nature Trail 0.9 mile to the Jordan Pond Carry Trail at the north end of the pond; and from the Jordan Pond Carry Trail, take a right onto the steep Bubble-Pemetic Trail, which leads to the summit of the mountain. Hikers can then continue south on to descend the Pemetic Mountain SW Trail and circle back around to Jordan Pond.
Hikers can also design hikes to the summit and back using one trail (instead of hiking a loop). For example, you can start at the Bubble Pond parking area and hike up the Pemetic Mountain Northeast Trail to the summit and back – a 2.2-mile hike.
The section of the Park Loop Road leading to the trailhead is closed in the winter (Dec. 1-March 31), so the hike is not accessible unless you use a snowmobile or skis.
Personal note: We hiked to the summit of Pemetic Mountain by starting at the Jordan Pond boat launch and hiking up and down the mountain via Pemetic Mountain SW Trail. The overall hike was about 3.6 miles long. Total elevation gain from Jordan Pond (274 feet above sea level) is nearly 1,000 feet. This option is shorter and less steep than the entire loop hike.
It was my first time hiking Pemetic Mountain, though I’ve hiked plenty of mountains nearby. The evergreen forest near the base of the mountain is beautiful year-round. Since the top of the mountain is bare of trees, we enjoyed amazing views for a good portion of the hike. I’ll definitely return to that mountain in the future. It made my top five list of mountains to hike in Acadia National Park, though this list is ever changing.
“Where in the Woods am I?” Pemetic Mountain photos: http://actoutwithaislinn.bangordailynews.com/2012/11/05/gallery/where-in-the-woods-am-i-34/