Bubble Rock Trail – Acadia National Park Hiking

Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful natural areas in the U.S. Our family traveled there on our Northeast Road trip and spent two very short days doing hiking trails in Maine. Hiking Bubble Rock Trail was a perfect mix of wooded areas, climbing, ease, and scenic vistas from the top. It is definitely one of the best East Coast hikes. Check out my other post if you would like a general overview of some of the best hikes in Acadia for kids. Here is my review of hiking Bubble Rock in Acadia National Park.

Bubble Rock Family

Bubble Rock is aptly named for the giant rock you see above that seems to be hanging on the edge of a cliff. There are various trails you can take to see this rock and many connecting trails too. Our family did the South Bubble Trail which was just under 2 miles. I had read that this was one of the most family friendly hikes in Acadia, so we decided to give it a shot. There is a North Bubble Trail too, and other connecting hiking routes, so be sure to follow the signs (which are very clearly marked).

The Bubbles Acadia
The Bubbles Acadia

Bubble Rock Trail

It was a nice cool morning when we first arrived at the Bubbles parking lot. If you do not arrive early, you may not find parking. Bubble Rock Trail is very popular and the lot fills up fast. Once you do arrive at the trailhead, it begins in a wooded area, and the path is very well marked. We meandered through the bottom half of the trail and noticed it was pretty foggy in the distance, even at that point. Although we were enjoying hiking Bubble Rock Trail, I was nervous for what our views might be once we reached the summit. The fog did provide some pretty interesting pictures though!

The climb to the top was fun. There were some stairs, and its ascent was not too steep. The kids had to scramble through some rocks, and just like our previous hike on the Ocean Path Trail, they did not complain one bit! The trail is very well marked, and we made sure to keep on the path that said Bubble Rock/South Bubble. If you see a high that says South Bubble Trail Acadia – stick to that path. Although there are other ways to reach Bubble Rock that are longer, we chose to climb up South Bubble to the more direct route.

Bubble Rock

Once we arrived at the Bubble Rock Overlook, the fog was everywhere! As “cool and mysterious” as it did look, I was very disappointed that we could not see the spectacular views of the water and mountains I had read about once you reach Bubble Rock.

We enjoyed the summit and were amazed at how that rock just hangs perfectly in place at the edge. A little bit of Bubble Rock history… Bubble Rock was left here during the last Ice Age. Apparently, a glacier receded through here and this rock was left right at the precipice of the cliff. Although hiking Bubble Rock Trail had been enjoyable so far, the fog really limited our view of the surroundings. Instead of being disappointed, I decided to enjoy the uniqueness all around me. We scrambled around the granite formations, sat down to take in the “foggy views” and took some pretty nice pictures of the surrounding area in Acadia National Park.

Bubble Rock Fog

Fair warning though to those hiking with your family… Be very careful at the edge where Bubble Rock is located. I knew there was a cliff hundreds of feet down, but due to the fog, you would have no clue. Make sure you keep everyone close by and stay safe, especially near the edge where Bubble Rock hangs. My kids were nervous taking the picture where they are “pushing” Bubble Rock. In reality, they were not that close to the edge, but just in case, we warned them about being careful and my husband was just outside the frame.

bubble rock kids

Best of Acadia

This was one of the best trails in Acadia National Park. We really enjoyed hiking Bubble Rock Trail with kids. In the end, the fog did add a unique element to our pictures. However, after getting over the disappointment of not seeing anything past Bubble Rock, I began to think about when we could come back. Acadia National Park is pretty remote, so I thought this place would be a once in a lifetime stop. I am hopeful that we will be back on a hiking trip to this beautiful national park, and will be praying for a sunny day!

Specifics to Know Before You Go to Bubble Rock Acadia:

Distance – This is short hike. It’s 0.7 miles from the parking lot to the top.
Elevation – 300 feet of elevation gain. (The summit of South Bubble is 768 feet).
Timing – Depending on how long you want to stay at the top, I would budget about 1-2 hours for this.
Location & Parking –Here is the trailhead (The Bubbles Acadia) and the Bubbles Divide parking lot.
Bubble Rock Trail Difficulty – Easy

Best Hikes in Acadia National Park

Check out our other two hikes in Maine: Ocean Path Trail and Bar Island Trail. If you are looking for something a little more challenging, check out this review of the Beehive Trail. For where to stay near Acadia National Park, I would recommend Bar Harbor. Check out our family’s post on things to do in Bar Harbor Maine and our road trip stop in Portland, Maine.

Visiting Acadia National Park

If you are an avid hiker and planning on backpacking in Acadia, check out these posts about choosing the right backpack for your adventures, useful gifts for backpackers and how to leave no trace.

Four hours away are the majestic White Mountains in New Hampshire. If you are looking for great hiking nearby, you should check it out. Click below to read some trail reviews:

Other National Park Options

There are 61 US National Parks, and while we have only visited a few, check out our reviews of why they should be on your radar of national parks to visit.

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bubble rock cover

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