Day nine started out in the Walmart Parking lot in Augusta Maine. We started pretty early and made the drive to the National Park. We were a bit surprised at the crowds that were forming to get their park passes. All in all, the crowds were much smaller than normal for sure, but it was still a busy park.
We did some looking for the hikes we really wanted to try and we found a really relevant post online from [thetrek.co](thetrek.co) that mentioned doing three sections of the park in three 12 mile loops - so we figured we would give that a shot. Starting with our first day at Jordan pond. ( The next day would be kinda gloomy and the day after that was supposed to be rather nice).
Our first stop though was to get our campground spot at *The Bar Harbor Campground*. This was a first come first server spot where we thought we could get it without reservations (They actually don't allow reservations). And we did actually get a spot ( they had plenty!) . The problem was - they only took cash - and we didn't have enough for the two nights we planned on staying. So we only got one night and would have to find some other plans for the next night.
So we started out trying to find a parking lot at the brown mountain trail head which was pretty packed. We actually found a smaller lot by the upper Hadlock pond and hiking that through to the carriage trail and then circling around our route. It was a bit of a loop but essentially we did:
1. Hadlock pond trail
2. Carriage road
3. Mount Sargent
![blogPics](/static/img/175/side.jpg "Walking Trail")
4. Cedar Swamp Summit
5. Birch Spring
6. Sargent Mountain Pond
![blogPics](/static/img/175/lake.jpg "Jordan Pond")
7. Deerbrook Spring (To the left around the lake)
8. Lake Path to Bubble Rock
9. Bubble Rock Overlook back to lake path
![blogPics](/static/img/175/bubble.jpg "Top of Bubble Rock")
10 . Ending And the Jordan Pond House
After this, we stopped for what I think is a must have while you are here - a popover. I didn't know about this but Kristen was pretty adamant that we get one ( and I think she had the right idea). Essentially its a type of pastry made of egg that is light and fluffy that comes with strawberry jelly and butter. I think to eat it best, you crack that thing open and throw your jelly and butter in there, spin it around while the heat melds the two together, and then take a bite.
- The Pond House also sells Blueberry Lemonade. We got a single popover and the Blueberry Lemonade and both felt we should have just got two popovers and dropped the lemonade. It didn't taste much different from regular lemonade and costs as much as the popover.
- They do however give you cups for water for free so that's good to hydrate and still keep it cheap
- The place gets **BUSY** So either be early or be prepared to wait ( nearly 30 minutes for us during covid)
After we finished at the pond house, we started our second part of our hike:
1. Jordan cliffs
![blogPics](/static/img/175/trail.jpg "Jordan Cliffs")
2. Penobscot Mountain
3. back to Birch Spring
4. Summit Sargent Mountain
![blogPics](/static/img/175/harbor.jpg "View of the harbor")
5. Descend on the Gradgent Trail
6. Merge back with the Hadlock Brook trail
7. Finish at Hadlock Pond Parking
I really think the whole second half of this day was the most fun to hike as well as some of the best views we got to see. It also helped that it was a bit later in the day at this point so the trails really quieted down a lot and we were nearly the only ones left. The view from Jordan cliffs were some of the best while from the top of Sargent Mountain you could get panoramic views in all directions of the park.
##### Things to Consider
- The trail we followed took nearly 7+ hours for us to complete
- Most all the trails that are not marked as "easy" are covered in rocks of various sizes. Its good to wear some type of shoe that provides ankle support.
- On each mountain you hike you are climbing from the bottom to the top just about. There is a LOT of elevation gain and your legs will get burnt from the stairs (well ours did at least!)
After we finished hiking we made our way back to the campground as it was getting late. We had a few other goals to accomplish:
1. get showers
2. Make some dinner
3. Go to *Udderly Heaven* for ice cream
We did all these and let me tell you - if you are in the area and looking for some ice cream, this is the place to go. Its the real deal for homemade ice cream. It was a good thick ice cream and tasted amazing - comparable by me only to the awesome ice cream from Wisconsin.
After ice cream we cam back to our camping area, cleaned up the van, and settled in to get some rest to tackle our next 12 mile+ loop for tomorrow.