Acadia National Park - Beehive Loop



Starting from ME Route 3, turn off at the Hulls Cove Entrance to the national park and the beginning of the Park Loop Road. Follow the Park Loop road 2.8 miles before turning left onto the one way section towards Sand Beach. The trail begins on the right just before Sand Beach. Park in the Sand Beach parking lot. During the busy summer months, leave your car at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and take the Island Explorer Bus.


The hike begins on the Bowl Trail, but soon the Beehive Trail goes off to the right. There is a sign warning of the danger of the climb. Parents should climb it first to determine if it is appropriate for their children. The first section of the Beehive Trail has iron rungs to allow climbers to ascend exposed, steep cliff faces and traverse narrow ledges. After reaching the top, hikers are rewarded with outstanding views of Sand Beach, Great Head, and Frenchman Bay. It's a short descent to The Bowl, a small pond nestled behind the Beehive. Descending the Beehive is dangerous and not advised. Return through a deciduous forest to the Loop Road on the Bowl Trail (0.8 miles) or, for a longer, more scenic loop, consider the Gorham Mountain Trail (1.4 miles) and Ocean Path (1 mile) back to Sand Beach.

Other Information

The Beehive is a classic roche moutonnée, a geological feature that has a gradual slope to the north and a steep cliff to the south. As glaciers moved over the Beehive, melt water seeped into cracks on the south side and refroze. The glaciers slowly moved south plucking rock from the cliff side creating over time the rough and craggy south side of the mountain. 

The Beehive is also referred to as the Little Precipice Path. Both the Beehive and the Precipice Trail were built by Randolph Brunnow and are part of Acadia’s Historic Trail system. Their careful design testifies to the skill of the early trail builders.

Pets are not allowed on this hike due to its steep nature and iron rungs.

The Park Loop Road is closed December 1 to April 15. Climbing this trail during the winter months is very dangerous and not advised.

Geocaching is prohibited within Acadia National Park; however, the park does sponser an EarthCache Program for those seeking a virtual treasure hunt!

Trail Manager

Visit Acadia National Park online for more information or contact

National Park Service
Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177,
Bar Harbor, ME. 04609
Phone: (207) 288-3338

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View of Sand Beach
View of Sand Beach
Photo courtesy:National Park Service

The Beehive is an exposed, iron rung climb. It is not recommended for small children, people with a fear of heights or in wet weather. Good traction shoes are advised. Those who are up for this challenging hike are rewarded with outstanding views.

Quick Facts

  • Hiking / Walking
TownBar Harbor
Length1.9 miles, Network
SurfaceRocks/Ledge, Dirt/Forest Floor
PetsNot Permitted
Other ActivitiesNone

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April 23, 2014
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