Jordan Pond in Acadia
Jordan Pond is a glacier formed tarn with a maximum water depth of 150 feet (46 m). There are steep inclines on the left and right sides (West and East). The water is exceptionally clear with an average visibility depth of 46 feet (14 m) but this has been measured as high as 60 feet (18 m), the most ever recorded in the State of Maine. Swimming is not allowed. However, non motor boats such as canoes and kayaks are permitted. The kayak and canoe launch site for this is via the Jordan Pond North parking lot, a short distance from the restaurant. Carriage Roads are adjacent to the restaurant and pond area. Auto access to the restaurant is provided via the Park Loop Road.
Jordan Pond House
Jordan Pond House, the only full service restaurant within Acadia National Park, is located in a spectacular park setting overlooking the magnificent Jordan Pond with the North and South Bubbles in the distance. It is a modern full service restaurant offering lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. Weather permitting, you may continue the late 1800's tradition of having afternoon tea & popovers on the lawn while savoring the breathtaking view. Estimates are that approximately 60% of all park visitors will make a stop here. Dining reservations are recommended by calling (207) 276-3316. The facility is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., late May through late October.
Gift Shop & Deck
Also, at the same location is a two story gift shop offering a wide selection of park related items and memorabilia as well as some boots, clothing, refreshments, etc. There is a second floor exit that provides access to an observation deck that overlooks the lawn seating area as well as the waterfront with mountains in the distance. The observation deck may also be accessed via an outside stairway in front and in back of the building. Give it a try for some nice photographic opportunities or relax on the chairs provided. Both businesses are operated by private concessionaires on national park land. This location also has public rest rooms accessed from the back of the gift shop area. (View panoramic photo of Jordan Pond.)
The Shore Trail - Hiking
A path leads down to the water from the restaurant and joins with a hiking trail that goes to the left and to the right. Going right will take you to the North parking lot and further around the East side of Jordan Pond. If you go left at the bottom of the hill, you have an option to walk on the Carriage Road or walk on the walking trail close to the western edge of the shore. The National Park Service has done a great job recently constructing a boardwalk along this trail in sections. For people wanting to hike the Shore Trail, you may want to park in the North parking lot. No swimming is allowed nor are pets allowed in the water as this is the water supply for Seal Harbor.
Greg Hartford, the photographer whose work is seen throughout this website, offers customized photo workshops here at Jordan Pond and other places of interest on Mount Desert Island, at Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland, and elsewhere along coastal Maine or further inland. In-the-field workshops may be for groups of up to 10 - 12 or as small as dedicated one-on-one instruction and guidance. Learn the secrets of capturing the best images of Maine. Instruction also includes guidance on post-capture procedures with software. Greg can also be hired as a photo logistics guide for photography projects. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Get Here
As you can see on the map. Jordan Pond is located right next to the western side of the Park Loop Road which happens to be open to two way traffic in this area. There are several ways to get here depending on where you will be coming from on Mount Desert Island. If you entered the Park Loop Road at the beginning on the northeastern side of the island, it is a matter of just continuing around the loop until you arrive. A quicker way from Bar Harbor is to go west on Route 233 then access the Park Loop Road there. Go directly south past the entrance to Cadillac Mountain until eventually arriving at Jordan Pond (on the right). If on the southern side of the island, take the Stanley Brook Road entrance to Acadia National Park in Seal Harbor and continue north. This will connect up with the Park Loop Road just south of the Jordan Pond House. During peak season, it can be difficult to find a parking spot. Refer to the GPS Coordinates section for some options.
Note: The Free Island Explorer Shuttle Bus has a drop-off and pickup point here that cycles every 30 minutes during normal hours and season. Refer to their Jordan Pond schedule 5.
More Stats & Facts
- Located in Seal Harbor in town of Mount Desert in Hancock County.
- Pond Information - Water Supply for Seal Harbor
- 187 acre glacier formed tarn with 150 (46 m) maximum water depth
- Closed to pets in water, swimming, windsurfing, and Scuba Diving
- Fish: Landlocked Salmon, Lake Trout (Togue) and Brook Trout
- Restrictions: Motors over 10 horsepower prohibited
- Shoreline: 3.6 miles (5.8 km)
- Maine Department of Inland Fisheries: (207) 434-5925
Wildlife Division: (207) 434-5927
- Boat Ramp: Latitude 44.322836 ; Longitude -68.253771
- Restaurant: Latitude 44.320484; Longitude -68.253658
- Parking - North Lot: Latitude 44.321547; Longitude -68.251892
- Parking - South Lot: Latitude 44.319896; Longitude -68.253908
- Cadillac Mountain: Latitude 44.368891; Longitude -68.238506
- Seal Harbor GPS: Latitude 44.296609; Longitude -68.239346
- Park Entrance Station: Latitude 44.338797; Longitude -68.183168
Much of the photography that I do within Acadia National Park is done very early in the morning. It takes some planning to maximize the amount of images that I can capture before the quality of light changes. If I have begun my shooting on the East coast, I know that I still have some time to get to Jordan Pond because of the mountains between the East coast and Jordan Pond that creates a shadow. It adds to the time before the sunlight bursts above the treetops. If my primary goal is to shoot Jordan Pond, I usually want the surface of the pond to be as calm as possible and this often takes place very early as there is usually a calm before the sunrise. For a while, the height of the mountains gives some added wind protection but it soon disappears as the sun rises. Depending on what you want to begin taking photos of will require the basic choice of where to park. Choose the restaurant parking if you want to get a shot from a higher elevation provided by the observation deck, or of the Jordan Pond House itself, or if you want to access a full-service rest room before walking down to the pond. Choose the North Parking area if you want to get to the Pond in the shortest amount of time, or are carrying a lot of heavy gear. There is a basic out-house style bathroom facility there.