This bump on the southern slope of Champlain Mountain, which provides a scenic backdrop for visitors to Sand Beach, looks . . .well,like a beehive. In 1908, it was the first important acquisition of the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, a local land trust organized by Charles W. Eliot to protect the land that eventually was turned into Acadia National Park.
The three-quarter-mile Beehive Trail up to the 520-foot summit of this rocky outcrop starts between the Ocean Drive entrance station and the beach. It’s a special favorite of many hikers in Acadia, short enough to not be exhausting but still, in several spots, requiring close concentration.
If the sloping granite sections of the trail get wet, your hike can even be death-defying. An occasional bridge or iron rungs near the top of the trail add to the excitement.
If, having achieved the top of the Beehive, you don’t feel like descending along the same exposed route, an alternate, less steep trail leads down and around to the mountain pond known as the Bowl, and towards Gorham Mountain before it returns you to your starting place.