Hiking Penobscot Mountain
*Adapted from Acadia: The Complete Guide
Distance: 3.7 miles, round-trip
Hiking Time: 2–3 hours
Elevation Change: 973 feet
Penobscot Mountain is one of my favorite hikes in Acadia National Park. It’s not as famous as Cadillac Mountain or The Beehive, but Acadia’s 5th-highest peak is still one of the best. Rising above the western shore of Jordan Pond, 1,194-foot Penobscot Mountain treats hikers to fabulous views of both Mount Desert Island and the beautiful islands offshore.
The hike to Penobscot Mountain starts behind the Jordan Pond House. Note: parking is extremely limited at the Jordan Pond House in summer. A better option is riding the free Island Explorer shuttle to the Jordan Pond House via the Jordan Pond route.
Fresh popovers at the Jordan Pond House are even more delicious after a hunger-inducing hike. Put your name on the restaurant list as soon as you finish the hike.
From the Jordan Pond House, head to the southern shore of Jordan Pond. Follow the trail along the shore southwest until it merges with a carriage road. Head south on the carriage road until you reach the Spring Trail trailhead.
Follow the Spring Trail 0.3 miles (0.5 kms) through the woods until it crosses a second carriage road. Consider taking a quick detour to the right to visit West Branch Bridge. Then continue along the Spring Trail as it ascends through the forest. After some mild scrambling, you’ll reach the junction with the Penobscot Mountain Trail. Turn right (north) to head up Penobscot Mountain.
The Penobscot Mountain Trail soon rises through the forest to a dramatic granite ridge. Once above treeline, you can see the Cranberry Isles to the south. If it’s a particularly clear day, you can also see Great Duck Island and Little Duck Island beyond the Cranberries.
Continue your ascent along the granite ridge until you reach the 1,194-foot (364-meter) summit. After passing over the summit, the trail dips back into the forest and descends quickly to Jordan Pond along the Deer Brook Trail. At one point you’ll pass beautiful Deer Brook Bridge, the only carriage road bridge with two arches.
From the northern tip of Jordan Pond, follow the Jordan Pond Shore Trail 1.5 miles (2.4 kms) back to the Jordan Pond House (where delicious popovers await!)
Extended Hiking Route
Strong hikers can continue from the summit of Penobscot Mountain to the summit of Sargent Mountain. From Sargent Mountain’s 1,373-foot (418-meter) peak, follow the East Cliffs trail down to the northern tip of Jordan Pond. Follow the Jordan Pond Shore Trail 1.5 miles (2.4 kms) back to the Jordan Pond House
Looking for a Color Topographic Hiking Map of Penobscot Mountain?
There’s one in Acadia: The Complete Guide!
Penobscot Mountain Hiking Photos
As you ascend the Penobscot Mountain Trail, beautiful views of Jordan Pond appear to the east. Rising above the east end of Jordan Pond is Pemetic Mountain.
To the south, you’ll enjoy views of Little Long Pond, the Cranberry Isles, and (on clear days) Great Duck Island and Little Duck Island beyond.
En route to Penobscot Mountain’s summit, you’ll pass some small bogs.
Enjoying the view of Jordan Pond from Penobscot Mountain’s summit.
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