Lakes and Ponds

Lake surrounded by forest and small mountains
Freshwater plants make a happy home for various animals at the edge of Acadai's lakes and ponds. NPSPhoto.

Twenty-four named lakes and ponds add shimmering contrast to Acadia's forested and rocky landscape. The granite that makes up so much of Acadia's landscape is a big factor in the presence of so many ponds in this location, as is the freshwater streams and watersheds that empty into the ponds. The park is home to 14 Great Ponds (natural ponds or lakes greater than 4 hectacres/10 acres) and ten smaller ponds. Lakes and ponds cover more than 7% of the park's area with maximum depths ranging from 5 ft to 150 ft.

Water is Life

Life at the edges of ponds is an active one as the ponds are home to countless reptiles and amphibians as well freshwater plants. Loons, ducks, and other waterfowl can be seen feeding on the ponds or nesting at the edges and below the surface freshwater fish enjoy some of the cleanest waters in the northeast.

For generations people have relied on the ponds for some of their only source of year-round meat and harvested ice. On any given day, the ponds play host to people at play - boating, swimming, and fishing in summer and ice skating and ice fishing in winter. Most importantly, many ponds within Acadia serve as local drinking water supplies and have watercraft and swimming restrictions in addition to other regulations. Please obey all posted signs at Acadia's lakes and ponds.

The Great Ponds

  • 9 Great Ponds are located within the park: Aunt Betty Pond, Bubble Pond, Eagle Lake, Jordan Pond, Lower Hadlock Pond, Upper Hadlock Pond, Witch Hole Pond, Round Pond and Lake Wood.
  • 5 Great Ponds border the park: Echo Lake, Hodgdon Pond, Seal Cove Pond, Long Pond on Mount Desert Island and Long Pond on Isle au Haut.

Preserving the Pristine Waters

Some of the factors that make Acadia's lakes and ponds so beautiful are also what makes them so fragile. They are freshwater holding tanks, collecting rainwater from the sky and surrounding hillsides. As a result, they collect pollutants. Scientists conduct research on and in Acadia's lakes and ponds to best inform management decisions by park staff.

Acadia has developed a long-term monitoring program, since the protection of scientific and scenic attributes of these features played a role in the park's establishment. Jordan Pond is often considered the 'crown jewel' of Acadia's ponds for its clarity and depth. Since 2013, the continuous monitoring buoy has been compiling a massive dataset that is providing a host of insights into the health of Jordan Pond. Over 30 parameters are measured every 15 minutes.

In the face of climate change and other environmental threats, you can help keep Acadia's ponds fresh and healthy. Obey all posted signs and doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint by using the fare-free Island Explorer bus system.

Detail of flowing water
Water Resource Management

Water resources are integral to ecosystem health and function and fundamental to a variety of recreational opportunities at the park.

Person walking on a boardwalk along lake
Lake and Forest Hikes

Looking for more tree coverage and views of lakes and ponds? See hikes that pass by freshwater or weave through the forest.


More on Acadia's Lakes and Ponds

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    Last updated: September 21, 2022

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