The Beehive Trail is one of Acadia National Park’s classic Iron Rung Routes. What is an iron Rung Route?  It means you’ll practically be hiking vertically! 

This was Naomi and my first hike when we arrived at Acadia, and my personal favorite! The Beehive Trail is one of the most popular trails in Acadia National Park offering some serious  “bang for your buck” views.  This hike doesnt require too much effort and we were rewarded with non stop views, an unforgettable climb, and great views from the summit.

The National Park Service has drilled iron rungs into the side of the cliffs of Beehive Mountain for our climbing pleasure! You WILL be climbing, or taking switchbacks for 0.8 miles up the entire front side of the mountain.

Hiking up the Beehive Trail is absolutley beautiful!  We climbed several sections of iron rungs, hugged some cliffs, and even crossed a skinny wooden bridge at one point.  I highly recommend some shoes with grip, especially if it’s overcast or raining like it was when Naomi and I hiked.  You may also want gloves in the colder months.
I wouldn’t say this hike is dangerous, but we definitely had to be careful. A few missteps would have led to one mighty fall. If you are scared of heights or have trouble balancing, this trail is not for you! Luckily, there is an alternate way to the top of Beehive from the backside (Bowl Trail).  For me though,  the climb to the top on the beehive trail was what made this hike so exciting and memorable, not the views at the top.  The trail is practically vertical and something I had never experienced before; the uniqueness of the trail left a lasting impact.  
I would reccomend going down the backside of the mountain (Bowl Trail) when you’re done; going back down the same way you came is dangerous and also the way most hikers come up the mountain. There is minimal passing room on the trail. We spent a good 30 minutes at the top soaking in the view.  Even with the overcast weather, it was still a beautiful sight to see!
On the way down, Naomi and I took the Bowl Trail down instead of the Beehive trail due to the weather.  It was easy and straightforward, just follow the signs.  If you want a slightly longer hike (probably about 30 minutes), check out Bowl Lake and continue down the Beehive Trail until you reach the Bowl Trail, then take the Bowl Trail back to the parking lot.

Extra Information


Parking: The best place to park is at the Newport Cove parking lot. Then walk up a ways to the trailhead which will be on the opposite side of the road and clearly marked. There’s a map in the parking lot if you need help finding the trail head.


Time Required: 1.5-3 hours (We did it in about 1.5, including hanging out at the summit for about 30 minutes)


Distance: The Beehive Trail itself is 0.8 miles with about 450 feet of elevation gain. The loop is 1.3 miles. Map


Additional Iron Rung Trails in Acadia:  Precipice Trail, Jordan Cliffs Trail, and the Beech Cliffs Loop


Nearby Attractions:  Sand Beach is right next to the parking lot and definitelly worth checking out!  A few miles down the road is Thunder Hole which is a big gap in the granite of the Mount Desert Island coast where water comes rushing in creating thunderous noise.  Also, simply enjoy the rest of the scenic drive loop!

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