Jordan Pond offers two kinds of hiking experiences. 

One is on a hiking trail.  Two trails start from the south end of the Pond, from the grounds behind the Jordan Pond House restaurant.  One 3-mile loop follows the edge around the pond.  Like other flat trails in the park, it is exceptionally well maintained.  Although the park description labels it to be of moderate difficulty, you should experience no serious physical challenges.  The attraction is the opportunity to view the pond itself , right up close, as well as the mountains near by.  The trail offers many soothing views characteristic of Appalachian mountain scenery.  Another 1-mile loop overlaps part of the Jordan Pond trail described above and then loops back, away from the pond, to the starting point.  It is called a Nature Trail; you probably won't detect anything qualitatively different about the "nature" along these two trails.

The second experience occurs on a carriage road.  The carriage roads at Acadia are unique.  They offer well maintained, broad surfaces with moderate enough grades and turns to allow horse carriage traffic, but carefully set into the terrain to create a sense of intimacy in some areas enclosed by forest and grand vistas in others.  The surfaces are hard, flat, and well drained, making casual walking easy, but made of materials that do not detract from the natural setting.  Jordan Pond lies just at the north end of a rich network of carriage roads that offers a broad variety of hiking options.  Where bikes are allowed on these roads (within the park, not on private land), biking may be a better way to enjoy these roads than hiking.  But the roads offer wonderful opportunities to walk peacefully, side by side, and simply enjoy the natural setting all around.  Surprisingly, you will encounter more wildlife on these roads than in other parts of the park.

One way to circle Jordan Pond is to start on the trail from the restaurant at the south end of the pond; hike to the Deer Brook trail at the north end of the pond; climb the Deer Brook trail, which is fashioned from native granite steps along Deer Brook, pretty much straight up the mountain to a carriage road;  and follow the carriage road back to the restaurant.  This variation allows you to include trails and carriage roads in one hike.  It also offers attractive views along Deer Brook, including a nice, off-road view of one of the bridges that Mr. Rockefeller had built to install his carriage roads.  Intersections of trails and roads are well enough marked to do this with a fair amount of confidence, even if you don't have a map (but take one anyway!).

While near the Jordan Pond House, don't miss the opportunity to sample the popovers and strawberry jam available there.  They make a nice mid-day snack in the middle of a day of hiking.

Quite a number of other trails, some challenging, connect to the pond loop trail. One fairly short hike leads up the Bubbles, the two round hills that form the backdrop to the pond when viewed from the Jordan Pond House. From the top of South Bubble you can enjoy a sweeping view of the pond, the surrounding mountains, and on a clear day Seal Harbor and the islands beyond. For details, check out the park map or one of the guides to hiking the island.