Gorham Trail - coastal view

Beehive Trail - coastal view

Precipice Trail - coastal view. Note the ladder rungs

The Gorham Trail: A Scenic Adventure in Acadia (Moderate)


The Gorham Trail in Acadia National Park is a fantastic hiking trail that offers stunning scenery and a moderate level of difficulty.  The Gorham Trail is the go-to trail for easy to moderate hikers in Acadia.  Some details:

Terrain: The Gorham Trail is a well-maintained hiking trail that winds through the beautiful forested areas of Acadia National Park. The trail is a mix of dirt, rocks, and tree roots, so sturdy footwear is recommended.

Difficulty: The Gorham Trail is considered a moderately difficult trail. It features some uphill sections and uneven terrain, but it is manageable for most hikers with a moderate level of fitness and hiking experience.

Length: The Gorham Trail is approximately 3.4 miles long (round trip). The trail offers a rewarding and enjoyable hiking experience that can be completed in about 2-3 hours, depending on your pace and the time you spend enjoying the scenic views along the way.

Location and Parking: To access the Gorham Trail, you can park your vehicle at the Gorham Mountain Trailhead parking area, which is located on the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park. Parking is just to the South of Thunder Hole along the main Park Loop Road. Look for the designated parking area and trailhead signage.  

Scenic Views: The Gorham Trail offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and coastline. Along the trail, you'll encounter several notable viewpoints where you can pause to take in the beauty of Acadia National Park. Here are some highlights:

  • The initial section of the trail provides glimpses of the nearby Gorham Mountain and its impressive rock formations.
  • As you ascend the trail, you'll be treated to stunning vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged coastline.
  • About halfway through the trail, you'll reach the renowned Cadillac Cliffs, where you can marvel at the dramatic cliffs and enjoy sweeping views of Frenchman Bay.
  • Continuing along the trail, you'll pass through picturesque forested areas, with occasional openings that offer glimpses of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  • The trail culminates at the summit of Gorham Mountain, where you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the ocean, neighboring islands, and the surrounding Acadia landscape.

It's important to note that the specific distances between these viewpoints may vary, but they are generally well-marked along the trail. Be sure to bring a map for more precise information before embarking on your hike.  Towards the coast you can see Otter's Point in the South and the Beehive in the North.  Cadillac Mountain can be seen towards the West.

If you keep walking North past Thunder Hole located below on the shore towards your right, you can then optionally continue onto the Cadillac Cliffs Trail which starts off at the Waldron Bates Memorial plaque.  This trail is a bit steeper and more strenuous than the Gorham Trail.  You can then also optionally push even further North onto the Beehive Trail - which a much more physically demanding trail and best suited for those without fear of heights.  Think plenty of steep granite stair cases and climbing iron rungs.  The point here is that these popular trails - popular for a reason - and towards the Eastern shore of Acadia are networked together.

Overall, the Gorham Trail is a captivating hiking experience that combines the beauty of Acadia National Park's forests, mountains, and coastal views. It provides ample opportunities to connect with nature and capture memorable moments throughout your journey.

Gorham Trail - Small Pond

Experience the thrill and exhilaration of the Beehive Trail (Advanced)


The Beehive Trail is a thrilling and challenging hiking adventure located in Acadia National Park. It is known for its stunning views, exhilarating climbs, and unique terrain. Here are the details you need to know about the Beehive Trail:

Location: The Beehive Trail is situated in the eastern part of Mount Desert Island in Acadia National Park, near the popular Sand Beach area.

Trailhead and Parking: To access the Beehive Trail, park your vehicle at the Sand Beach parking lot. From there, head towards the eastern end of the parking lot where you'll find the trailhead sign.

Terrain and Difficulty: The Beehive Trail is a strenuous and steep trail that involves some exposed sections and iron rungs for climbing. It requires a good level of physical fitness and agility. The trail is approximately 1.4 miles round trip.

Scenic Views: As you ascend the Beehive Trail, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Sand Beach, the surrounding coastline, and the vast Atlantic Ocean. The trail offers a unique vantage point to appreciate the beauty of Acadia National Park from above.

As you continue to ascend, you'll be treated to stunning panoramic views that showcase the park's natural beauty. Here's a breakdown of the views you can expect along the trail, along with approximate distances from the trailhead:

  • Sand Beach: As you begin your hike, you'll have a wonderful view of Sand Beach from the trailhead itself. The sparkling blue waters and golden sand create a picturesque scene. (Distance: Trailhead)

  • Gorham Mountain: Continuing on the trail, you'll enjoy glimpses of Gorham Mountain to the south. This prominent peak offers a majestic backdrop and showcases the ruggedness of Acadia's landscape. (Distance: Approximately 0.3 miles from the trailhead)

  • Frenchman Bay: As you climb higher, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Frenchman Bay to the east. The expansive bay stretches out before you, with its deep blue waters and scattered islands creating a mesmerizing sight. (Distance: Approximately 0.6 miles from the trailhead)

  • Great Head: As you approach the summit of the Beehive, you'll be treated to a magnificent view of Great Head, a dramatic headland jutting out into the ocean. The combination of rocky cliffs, dense forests, and crashing waves creates a postcard-worthy scene. (Distance: Approximately 0.9 miles from the trailhead)

  • Ocean Path and Schoodic Peninsula: From the summit of the Beehive, you'll have a sweeping view of the Ocean Path stretching along the coastline. On a clear day, you may even be able to see the Schoodic Peninsula in the distance, with its rugged cliffs and serene coastal landscapes. (Distance: Summit of the Beehive)

These views offer a glimpse into the diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes of Acadia National Park. Each vantage point provides a unique perspective, showcasing the park's coastal beauty and rugged natural features. Be sure to bring a camera to capture these memorable vistas along the Beehive Trail.

Highlights along the Trail: Along the trail, you'll encounter fascinating rock formations, dense forest, and picturesque landscapes. One of the most thrilling sections is the iron rung climb, where you'll navigate through narrow ledges and use metal handholds and footholds to ascend the steep granite cliffs. This portion adds an exciting element to the hike.

Safety Precautions: Due to the steep and exposed nature of the Beehive Trail, it is essential to exercise caution and follow safety guidelines. Wear appropriate footwear with good traction, use the iron rungs and handholds as directed, and be mindful of your surroundings. It is not recommended for individuals with a fear of heights or those with limited mobility.

Tips: Start your hike early in the day to avoid crowds and allow ample time to complete the trail.

View from Beehive Trail

Nature's Thrill - The awe-inspiring experience of climbing the Precipice Trail (Definitely Advanced)


It's important to note that the Precipice Trail is considered one of the more challenging hikes in Acadia due to its steep sections and exposure to heights. Proper preparation, including wearing sturdy footwear and exercising caution, is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.

The Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park offers exhilarating views and a thrilling hiking experience. Here's a detailed overview of the trail and the scenic views you can expect along the way:

  • Trailhead: The Precipice Trail begins near the Precipice Parking Lot, located on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. As you start your hike, you'll be surrounded by a lush forest, setting the stage for the adventure ahead.

  • Iron Rungs and Cliffside Views: One of the highlights of the Precipice Trail is the presence of iron rungs and ladders that assist hikers in navigating steep sections. As you ascend, you'll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the surrounding cliffs and rock formations. Take a moment to appreciate the dramatic landscape and the sense of achievement as you conquer each challenging section.

  • Champlain Mountain Summit: Upon reaching the summit of Champlain Mountain, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views. Gaze out over Frenchman Bay, the nearby peaks, and the expansive coastline. The rugged cliffs and diverse vegetation create a stunning backdrop for your well-earned rest.

  • Acadia's Peaks: From various viewpoints along the trail, you'll have glimpses of neighboring peaks, such as Dorr Mountain, Pemetic Mountain, and Cadillac Mountain. The rolling hills and rocky outcrops showcase the unique geological formations that define Acadia National Park.

  • Frenchman Bay and the Atlantic Ocean: As you reach higher elevations on the trail, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of Frenchman Bay and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Take in the vastness of the horizon, the changing shades of blue, and the distant islands dotting the seascape.

As you navigate the Precipice Trail, be prepared to encounter stunning vistas and the raw beauty of Acadia's rocky landscape. The combination of thrilling climbs and breathtaking views makes this trail a memorable adventure for hikers seeking a unique and rewarding experience. 

To summarize, the strenuous Precipice Trail is less a hike and more a climb. The first half is mostly boulder climbing using your hands. The second half there are a lot of rungs and ladders. If you are afraid of heights, this is not for you, but if you're feeling adventurous and are in good health, this is the flagship trail at Acadia National Park.  You must avoid this trail under wet conditions.  It will take you about 3.5 hours to complete the 2.6 miles round-trip loop.  The parking lot is on the Park Loop Road, a couple of miles from the park entrance. If the lot is full then you are also allowed to park along the road.

Precipice Trail - coastal view

Waves and Wonders: Exploring the Ocean Path Trail in Acadia National Park (Easy)


The Ocean Path Trail in Acadia National Park is a scenic coastal trail that offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged coastline. Here's a detailed description of the trail and the stunning views you can expect:

  • Trailhead: The Ocean Path Trail begins at the Sand Beach parking area or the Great Head parking area, depending on your preferred starting point. The trail follows the coastline, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the ocean from the very beginning.

  • Sand Beach: As you start the trail from the Sand Beach area, you'll be greeted by the picturesque views of the sandy beach and the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Take a moment to enjoy the serenity and tranquility of this scenic spot before continuing along the trail.

  • Thunder Hole: Continuing along the Ocean Path, you'll reach Thunder Hole, a natural rock formation that produces a thunderous sound when waves crash against it. Witness the power of the ocean as you admire the waves crashing and the mist rising high into the air. Be cautious and stay within designated safe areas, as waves can be unpredictable and dangerous.

  • Monument Cove: As you progress on the trail, you'll come across Monument Cove, a secluded and picturesque cove with stunning views of rocky cliffs and crashing waves. Marvel at the dramatic rock formations and the contrasting colors of the ocean against the rugged shoreline.

  • Otter Cliff: One of the highlights of the Ocean Path Trail is Otter Cliff, a towering granite cliff that rises above the Atlantic Ocean. The sheer magnitude of the cliff, combined with the crashing waves below, creates a mesmerizing sight. Take a moment to appreciate the raw power and beauty of the ocean from this vantage point.

  • Gorham Mountain: Along the Ocean Path, you'll have the option to detour and hike up Gorham Mountain. This moderate hike offers panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and neighboring peaks. Enjoy the sweeping vistas as you take a break from the coastal trail.

  • Boulder Beach: As you near the end of the Ocean Path, you'll reach Boulder Beach, a unique shoreline adorned with massive boulders and picturesque views. Take a moment to explore the beach, listen to the sound of waves crashing against the rocks, and soak in the beauty of this natural setting.

The Ocean Path Trail allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning coastal scenery of Acadia National Park. From sandy beaches to rocky cliffs, crashing waves to peaceful coves, this trail offers a diverse range of breathtaking views that showcase the power and beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ocean Path Trail

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