Beehive Trail

The easiest "rung and ladder" trail known for its stunning views and cliffside exposure.

Hiking Severe

Distance
2.5 km
Ascent
169 m
Descent
169 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
13 m
High Point
159 m
Gradient
11˚
VIEW ON MAP
Beehive Trail Map

Description

"If you are searching for an adventurous hike with a spectacular view, look no further than the Beehive loop," the park proclaims. This 1.5-mile "rung and ladder" loop is a classic and one of the most-visited hikes in Acadia National Park. For first-time visitors seeking a challenge, it's a great option to become comfortable on Acadia's more difficult trails.

On average, most visitors can complete the hike between 1 to 3 hours. It includes "steep granite staircases, iron rungs, and exposed cliff faces," but rewards expansive views as it climbs a nearly 450' cliff towering over the bay. Counter-clockwise is the preferred direction to hike the loop since descending down the rungs and ladders is ill-advised.

The trailhead for the Beehive is adjacent to the Sand Beach parking area. Water and restrooms are available, and beginning in 2021, "if you're accessing this trail from Sand Beach you will need a reservation to use a private vehicle to enter the Sand Beach Entrance Station from mid-June to mid-October."

Due to the nature of this route, pets are not allowed on this hike. As rain and inclement weather can make this hike significantly more dangerous, "allowing the rocks to dry provides a safer ascent," the park notes. The morning and afternoon are the best time to complete this hike, while spring, summer, and fall offer the best time of year to visit.

Source

Difficulty

Severe

Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Wild flowers
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area