OverviewThe Beehive is the dominant geologic feature you see from the area near Sand Beach on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park in Maine. To get to the top it is a short but steep and very fun hike to do. It is about a 1.2 mile round trip with 500 feet of elevation gain then loss. The trail is first just a stroll through the beautiful birch woods but soon the going gets steep and you are aided by various iron rungs and hand- and foot-holds as you ascend this big exposed rock. The trail is rated as strenuous and is a bit of a cliff-hang, but any hiker in decent physical shape who isn't afraid of heights and who takes their time should be able to do it.
The view from the top is fantastic! You can see Sand Beach and Great Head from up there as well as Cadillac Mountain and the Porcupine Islands. This hike can be combined with the easy hike to Great Head and relaxing and picnicking on Sand Beach and will make for a pleasant day in this beautiful corner of the world.
Getting ThereFirst of all, you have to get yourself to Acadia National Park. Click here for directions if you need them. Then you have to park at Sand Beach which is on the first part of the 20 mile Acadia Loop Road and then cross the road to the trailhead. From there the trail is well-marked with cairns and blue blazes. It is a loop trail with one part of the loop being longer than the other. You can go up and back down the short way or you can go up the short way and go down the other, or vice versa, thus making the loop. Your choice but I think it's easiest to go up the short and steep south-facing trail and then go down the north side of the Beehive which is less steep. I think most people go this way and it helps because I can't imagine one person going up the steep south side while someone is going down it. There isn't much room to pass each other!
When you do the loop trail be sure to stop by the Bowl, a gorgeous lake filled with lily pads. Watch for the many frogs and beaver dams there.
Red TapeFrom December 1 to April 15, most of the Park Loop Road, including the road to Cadillac Mountain, is closed. Severe weather may close the road earlier or keep it closed longer.
All visitors who enter Acadia National Park between May 1 and October 31 are required to pay an entrance fee, no matter how they enter or where they go in the park.
Entrance fees may be paid in the following locations:
Entrance Station (north of Sand Beach on the Park Loop Road)
Hulls Cove Visitor Center
Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds
Thompson Island Information Center
Bar Harbor Village Green
Educational fee waivers may be available to groups that meet specified criteria.
Eighty percent of all fees paid in the park stay in the park to be used for projects that directly benefit park visitors and resources.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK PASSES
Entrance Pass - $20 ($10 off season)
Good for entrance into Acadia National Park for one vehicle for seven days, including the date of purchase.
Individual Entrance Pass - $5
Good for entrance into Acadia National Park for one individual (pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle, etc.) for seven days, including date of purchase.
Acadia Annual Pass - $40
Good for entrance into Acadia National Park for one vehicle for one year from date of purchase.
National Passes - You can also buy a $80 America the Beautiful Federal Lands Recreation Pass good for entrance to all National Parks, National Forests, BLM, US Fish & Wildlife, and Bureau of Reclamation sites for one year from date of purchase. If you're disabled, you may want to get an Access Pass which are free and good for a lifetime. If you're 62 years of age or older, a Senior Pass can be purchased for $10 and they're also good for a lifetime. Click here for more info on fees and passes.
Pets are allowed in all park locations except Sand Beach, Echo Lake Beach, Isle au Haut campground, ladder trails, public buildings, and lakes that are public drinking water supplies.
CampingThere are two campgrounds on Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park: Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground. All sites are wooded and within a 10-minute walk of the ocean; no sites are located on the water. The majority of sites are for tents, small and large, but other sites accommodate pop-ups, vehicle campers, and RVs up to 35 feet (10.7 m). A maximum of one vehicle and six people is allowed at each site.
There are no hook-ups. Campground facilities include comfort stations, cold running water, dump station, picnic tables, fire rings, and water faucets (facilities at Blackwoods differ in the winter). Seasonal showers and camping supply stores are located within 1/2 mile of the campground.
WeatherAcadia's weather is largely a product of latitude and marine influences. On a daily and annual basis, Mount Desert Island temperatures are more moderate than those of inland Maine. The Maine coastal climate has been ranked second only to the Pacific Northwest in annual precipitation. This moisture occurs in every form at Acadia. Ice storms are regular in winter and early spring, and rain is frequent in every month. Fog is common during June, July, and August.
Spring can be foggy with temperatures ranging between 30 and 70 degrees F. Wear light-colored clothing, long sleeve shirts, and long pants for protection. Annual rainfall is 48 inches.
Summer daytime temperatures range from 45 to 90 degrees F. Evenings are cooler. Dressing in layers is advisable for any boating or hiking activities. Ocean water temperatures range from 50 to 60 degrees F. Lake water temperatures range from 55 to 70 degrees F.
Fall temperatures can range from low 70s during the day to freezing during the night. Come prepared for all types of weather, from sun to fog, from downpours to flurries. Fall foliage often peaks during the first couple of weeks in October. Weather conditions over the summer, such as drought, may alter the time that the leaves peak. Visit the state of Maine's fall foliage website for more information.
In the winter, due to Acadia's coastal location, snow and weather conditions change rapidly. Temperatures vary from mid-30s to below zero. The park averages 61 inches of snow annually. For the latest in weather information, call the local weather phone line at (207) 667-8910 or call the park at (207) 288-3338.
For the National Weather Service Forecast click here and then click on the area near Bar Harbor
External LinksAcadia National Park Website
More info about Acadia National Park