Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Hiking the Beehive and not

Friday August 16, 2013
Acadia National Park


On David’s ‘To do Before we leave Acadia’  list is hike the Beehive. 


It’s not on my list.  I need a scout for rungs and ladders trails to see if really short legs can handle them.  So he’s going today to hike it and report back.

We drive to the Sand Beach parking lot and he is walking to the trail head across the road at 6:45am.  The parking lot only has one car in it so his chances of being the only one on the trail are pretty good.



I take my chair and go down to the beach. 


On my list is to go somewhere lovely and just sit and enjoy.  So here I am.  No swimmers, no lifeguard.  Not even any other sun worshipers at least for a while.


Sand Beach & the Beehive 024


I play around with my camera taking pictures of this glorious morning, this magnificent surf, these outstanding cliffs


Sand Beach & the Beehive 008



Sand Beach & the Beehive 011

Sand Beach & the Beehive 016 


Sand Beach & the Beehive 020



This is my spot for this morning while David is hiking.  Isn’t it fantastic!  Early mornings are just wonderful. 


Sand Beach & the Beehive 050



After a while, I walk to the other end of the beach and look back at the waves rolling away from me like can can girls doing their leg kicks one after the other.  The sound is like an echo as they crash and then the next and the next and the next.


Sand Beach & the Beehive 038



Near Great Head there is an inland stream which sometimes flows into the ocean and other times is just a lake.   I look up at the Beehive.  I’ve brought my binoculars but I don’t see David yet or anyone else for that matter.  But I do see this magnificent reflection on this gorgeous day.   He’s got a perfect day for his hike that’s for sure.


Sand Beach & the Beehive 027


I head back to my beach chair thinking I’ll bring it up here so I can watch for him.  I have some information with me that I plan to look through on what to do in Lubec, where we are going on Sunday.  On my way, I pass by Greg from Minneapolis who is painting Great Head.  The paintings of Acadia at the foot of his easel are beautiful.  He would love to quit his job as a lighting engineer and be able to paint full time.  I recommend the book Your Money or Your Life and encourage him to seriously think about just doing it.  Life is short.  Live the life you dream of.   Don’t wait! 


Sand Beach & the Beehive 057


I get distracted from my intention to move when  this Amish family comes down to the beach.  The mother has obviously made all the dresses for the girls and women in the family.  The kids have a wonderful time running and climbing.


Sand Beach & the Beehive 062


Someone comes by and the mother asks if he will take the family picture so they all  line up.  Absolutely everyone loves the beach.


Sand Beach & the Beehive 075A


Including this little fella who tells me that someone started this deep fort yesterday but he has finished it today.  He shows me all the places he has dug it out.  When he’s in the bottom it’s almost over his head.


Sand Beach & the Beehive 076



David returns much earlier than I am expecting.  It has taken him under two hours to do this hike.  I am really shocked that he is back so soon.  I thought I would have much longer here.   But a couple of hours is better than no hours although I could stay all day.  And next time, I’ll at least stay until it gets toooo crowded.


Sand Beach & the Beehive 043




David has written about his hike of the Beehive and I’ve included it here.


The trail starts out with a modest climb through a rock strewn path. Here and there I find nice steps arranged bring some order to the climb and reduce the tedium of looking for a safe place to place each foot.







After two tenths of a mile up, I reach the cutoff to the Beehive trail.





And then as I enter the woods to follow the trail, I see this stern warning.




I heard this trail got the name because someone of note observing the flocks of folks on the trail from a distance thought they looked like bees crawling all over the surface of a beehive. Here is the distant shot from the sand beach parking lot. Folks on the trail do look pretty small if you can see them at all.




Due to the popularity of the trail, I planned a particularly early start, arriving at trailhead at 6:45 AM. It paid off, I only encountered one person while I was climbing up – a young woman who appeared to be running the trail. She passed me on her way up and again on her way back down.

One of the reasons for the popularity of this historic trail is the awesome views you get along the way, and the other is the ironworks installed in the form of hand rails and ladders that makes it possible to ascend this steep rock face. Here are some of the ironworks and some of the views along the way.









Maybe this is Sherry on walking on sand beach.










The view down from one of the exposed edges.








Must be getting close now.





And here I am at the summit at 7:45 AM. Very happy to have made it safely up with no crowds and great weather!





From here it is mostly a downhill over to the Bowl, a freshwater lake up between The Beehive, Enoch Mountain and Champlain mountains. Here is some of the trail and a few shots of the Bowl providing nice mirror images of neighboring peaks.












Then it is only seven tenths of a mile back down to the Loop Road near the Sand Beach parking area. Lots of stairs, steps, scrambles and some easy walking here and there.









When I pass the cutoff for the start of the Beehive, I see lots of people heading up – this is the second group that passed in the time it took me to walk by.  Sure am glad I started early!!





I’m down to the Loop Road by 8:45. The Sand Beach parking lot is still mostly empty. Amazing!





Mission accomplished, I go down to the beach to see what Sherry is up to. I find her reading maps, making plans.  She’s pretty surprised to see me so soon.




As we are leaving the beach we see this little fellow working hard in his sand fort.






Perhaps when he grows up, he’ll hike The Beehive Trail too.  And when I return I’m ready to take on The Precipice Trail!!


  1. What a great day at the beach!! And that was sure some climb!! or scramble?

  2. That was some hike, David! I'm amazed that a woman was running the trail. With those rocks and ledges, I'd be so scared I'd have been crawling. ;c)

    Glad you got a nice beach day in, Sherry. A great way to recharge your batteries!

  3. David
    You sure proved your abilities on this trail. You are living life to the fullest!

  4. Nice that you both got to mark off one item from your lists!! However, I am sure for everyone you mark off, another one gets added;o)) Would love to have hiked The Beehive with you David...now that I've seen it;o)) Bill will sit on the beach I'm sure!! Surprise that the Amish would get their photo taken. We have always heard it is not proper to take photos of the Amish?? But I guess it is OK if you take a picture of someone taking a picture of the Amish;o))

  5. Awesome job! I know I can't tackle that hike, so its wonderful to see it from my chair :-). Your pictures are beautiful Sherry, I see improvement already from your photo class.

  6. Good job David. You're braver than I. Now what is the Precipice trail??

  7. I'm with you Sherry. . .that beach chair looks a lot more inviting than those rungs on that trail. . .wow!

    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing Blog

  8. That's quite the trail ... getting a head start and enjoying such places without crowds makes the experience all the better. Looks like you both had a great time.

  9. Now that looks like a fun trail! Don't you just hate it when people jog by while you're slowly huffing and puffing your way up?

  10. Wow Sherry! I love the picture 2 away from your beach chair with the rocks and the waves. Beautiful! David, me thinks that steep hike with the ladders and rungs would intimidate me. Nice that you had it all to yourself. I'm at the beach for a long weekend. Have fun! XXXOOO Pam

  11. Sounds like you both had a great day! Gorgeous photos all around!

  12. That's one trail I couldn't even attempt to do.

  13. David is very brave to take this trail on alone. I'm with Sherry on the quiet beach instead. But those views from up high are absolutely amazing.

  14. Beautiful morning at the beach Sherry. No sea shells there though.
    David, thanks for taking everyone with you on the hike. I don't intend to do that one or Precipice. I don't mind heights too much, but I don't like ladders and rungs at all.

  15. What a great blog. We'll be there tomorrow. It will take us 6 hours to get there, but we'd love to meet up with you. Al and Karen are on the list too. We'll be there a week (maybe longer if we can extend). We'll be at the Red Barn Campground. See you soon.

  16. I forgot to mention about the Amish group. The women don't have bonnets and the man doesn't have a beard. The Amish will not allow pictures so it MAY be Mennonites or another sect.

  17. IMPRESSIVE!! That is quite a trail - short but steep - way to go Pops :) I would have joined you, I think - I like the victory shot at the summit - thanks for taking us along!! Lovely spot Mama found on the beach - that little boy was having a great time indeed :) I think Tumbleweed Dee might be right about the group there. They sure look like they were having a fun time - certainly not a bad place to come for the day.

  18. Iron rungs on exposed cliffs? Alrighty then . . . sounds like quite an adventure. I think that I would love the challenge, but acrophobia might do me in. I'll have to think about this one when I get there. Not so sure . . .

    Love the beautiful beach pictures. As usual, so beautiful . . .

  19. I think iron rungs in the rock are less scary to me because they are so secure, I don't have to worry about them letting loose. Working on a tall ladder leaned up against the side of a two story farm house is much scarier as they tend to wobble and can actually fall if not done properly. Anyway I am glad to save you the trip if it is not your sort of trail. The Precipice Trail is another one like this that goes up a steep cliff face or sheer rock with the aid of steel assists in the form of ladders, hand grips and walkways as needed to make it possible. Those early hikers and trail planners were very serious about creating great trails and clearly did not limit themselves to the easiest route.

  20. That kid is quite a digger- nice to see kids just having some fun at the beach. That trail looks great but it is easy to see how it could get backed up if you did not start early.

  21. Hmmm beautiful ocean and beach but no swimmers. Great trails for hiking - wish I'd been there to go with you.

  22. I hiked the Beehive on my 47th birthday. It was a big deal to me, as I am usually one to shy away from "iron rungs." I was patting myself on the back at the top, where I met a woman who had just climbed it in front of me...She was 70! Ha Ha!!


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!