Posted on April 29, 2022 and last updated on April 29, 2022

The Beehive and Gorham Mountain, Acadia National Park

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: ~48,000 acres
  • Trail Mileage: Varies
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: moderate to challenging
  • Sights: Amazing views, open summits

The Beehive and Gorham Mountain are twin-like knobs rising above the sea. The Beehive is one of the most popular hikes in Acadia National Park, and—with or without Gorham—makes for a fantastic and dramatic hike (if somewhat crowded on some days!). Both of the mountains are easily accessible year-round, too, as they are on the part of the Park Loop Road that is plowed throughout the winter.

The Beehive is very short (520 feet) but very steep! You’ll reach the summit in 0.4 miles, but along the way, if you take the Beehive Trail, you’ll confront several rock faces with iron rungs. They’re actually very fun to scramble up, and as someone who is deathly afraid of heights, I am never too scared by The Beehive. But I don’t recommend descending this trail. Better to go up it.

You can, however, completely avoid the rungs and the ladders by taking the Bowl Trail (turn left at the first intersection), which will bring you to Beehive’s summit in 0.7 miles — with no scary sections!

At the top, be sure to walk a bit farther along the trail and check out the Bowl, a little pond that is probably lovely to swim in on a hot day.

If you want to do more ridgeline hiking, you can head south to Gorham Mountain (0.8 miles from the Bowl), which has lovely views, or 1.6 miles north to Champlain Mountain, which also has spectacular views.

Recommended Moderate-Challenging Loop: Beehive-Gorham-Ocean Path (~3.5 miles)
For a great morning or afternoon hike, I suggest starting at Sand Beach and taking Beehive Trail (0.4 miles) to the summit of Beehive. From here, head ~0.25 miles to the Bowl (go for a swim!), and then head over to Gorham Mountain, 0.8 miles away.

On the 0.5-mile descent, check out the Cadillac Cliffs to see a large cave and walk under big boulders.

Once you reach the shore, turn left onto the gorgeous gravel Ocean Path for non-stop beauty, a coastline of blocky granite that glows pink, and probably lots of tourists!, as you meander along the gentle 0.7-mile trail to Sand Beach. You’ll pass the famous Thunder Hole and lots of side trails for exploring.

Directions: The large parking lot at Sand Beach is accessible via the Park Loop Road, and is open year-round. You’ll need to present your park pass at the gatehouse. From the Sand Beach parking lot, cross Park Loop Road to find the Beehive trailhead and kiosk. You can also park at the Gorham Trail trailhead, 0.7 miles farther along Park Loop Road. More smaller parking areas dot the Park Loop Road along this stretch, if the trailhead lots are full.

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Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!