Witch Hole Pond

Witch Hole Pond Southwest

Witch Hole Pond is located entirely in the Hulls Cove section of Acadia National Park. The surface area of Witch Hole Pond is 28 acres (0.113 square kilometers) and it is at an elevation of 179 feet (54.6 meters). The maximum depth of the pond is 31.2 feet (9.5 Meters) with an average depth of  12.1 feet (3.7 meters). Witch Hole pond is classified as a mesotrophic body of water, that is, it has moderate levels of vegetation and dissolved oxygen. The fish in Witch Hole Pond include Brook Trout, Minnows, Eel, Ninespine Stickleback, Pumpkinseed Sunfish and Banded Killifish.

The photograph above shows Witch Hole Pond looking southwest from the northern part of the carriage road surrounding the pond. The photograph below shows a wetland to the northwest of the pond. This wetland is to the west of a path that leads from the Acadia National Park Visitor Center to the carriage road that continues south to the pond. Witch Hole Pond drains wetlands to the north and south. The main outlet from Witch Hole Pond is a stream that flows into Duck Brook that, in turn, flows northeast into Frenchman Bay.

Wetlands Off the Path to Witch Hole Pond

As one approaches the pond along the carriage road from the Visitor Center, one encounters the first carriage road intersection in Acadia National Park. This intersection is one of the points where the carriage road surrounding Witch Hole Pond and another carriage road loop that encircles paradise Hill north of the pond intersect. Each carriage road intersection is numbered with this intersection being number one. The carriage roads in this area were some of the last to be built but the numbering of the intersections begin here because the intersection shown below is closest to the Visitor Center. Note the signs denoting directions along the carriage road. Bar Harbor, Duck Brook and Paradise Hill are to the left (north) of this marker whereas Eagle Lake and Witch Hole Pond are to the right (south) of the marker. 

Carriage Road Marker 1

The photograph below shows another wetland to the west and north of the marker for carriage road intersection 1. The area around Witch Hole Pond is very wet. Ensure you have protection against biting insects when you hike in this area. 

Wetlands Off the Carriage Road at Witch Hole Pond

The next picture shows Witch Hole Pond from the carriage road west of the pond. 

Witch Hole Pond Looking East

The next photograph is a view of the pond looking southeast. Notice the plants in the water.

Witch Hole Pond Looking Northeast

These plants are Watershields or Water Targets (Brasenia schreberi). Watershield is native to Maine. The following photograph is a close up of one Watershield plant. These oval leaves float on the surface of the pond. There are no indentations in the leaves, which helps differentiate Watershield from other floating plant leaves. The stem connects to the leaf in the center of the oval. The leaves grow to a maximum of about 5 inches (12 centimeters) long and 2.5 inches (6 centimeters) wide. During the growing season the leaves are green. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow or orange. The purple flowers appear on stalks just above the water. These plants are very common in Witch Hole Pond and other bodies of water on Mount Desert Island. Curiously, they have not been identified in French Hill Pond.

Watershield in Witch Hole Pond

The southern shore of Witch Hole Pond is shown in the next photograph.  The mountains in the background are, from left to right, Dorr Mountain and Cadillac Mountain.

Dorr and Cadillac Mountains over Witch Hole Pond

The vegetation around Witch Hole Pond can be quite beautiful as in the case of the vine shown in the next photograph that is climbing a large bolder at the carriage road intersection number 1 at Witch Hole Pond.  As beautiful as some of these plants are, it is often best to follow the National Park admonition to leave them alone. This plant is Rhus glabra a member of the Cashew Family (Anacardiaceae) more commonly known as Poison Ivy. Do not touch this plant. The oil on the leaves will produce severe blistering on human skin.

Poison Ivy on Rock at Witch Hole Pond

Witch Hole Pond can be accessed by foot or bicycle. The most common route is to use the trail that begins at the north end of the Visitor Center parking lot at Hulls Cove in the Town of Bar Harbor. Follow the path to the carriage road. Turn right (south) onto the carriage road to carriage road marker 1.  One can also enter the Witch Hole Pond carriage road loop off Duck Brook Road that runs north from State Route 233 opposite the northeast corner of eagle Lake to West Street Extension in Bar Harbor. The Witch Hole Pond carriage road loop connects to the Eagle Lake carriage road loop by a carriage road that runs from the southwest corner of the Witch Hole loop to the northwest corner of the Eagle Lake loop. All of these access points are wide enough to allow portage of a canoe or other small watercraft. However, the trail from the Visitor Center parking area to the carriage road is very steep. Bicyclists should be cautious on this trail, particularly descending the trail. President Obama and his family bicycled around Witch Hole Pond during their visit to Acadia National Park in July 2010.

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