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The Gorham Trail is a 1.8 mile long round trip hike and is the go-to trail for easy to moderate hikers in Acadia.  It offers spectacular views of the coastline, including Sand Beach.  The ascent is a gradual 500 feet.

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.

Parking is in the Gorham Mountain Trail parking lot just to the South of Thunder Hole  along the main Park Loop Road. 

The Beehive Trail is a 1.4 mile long round trip hike is one of the most popular expert trails in Acadia.  The terrain is rocky and uneven with steep ascents and descents over cliffs.  Some of these areas have no railings so having proper footwear and exercising caution is in order during wet weather.  As my son-in-law Jake pointed out, Beehive and Precipice Trails are at times closer to easy rock climbing than hiking.  Once you do reach the trail summit, there are no more rungs and ladders.

This is one of the most scenic trails in Acadia and if you are into aquatic, coastal views then you can enjoy panoramic views of Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Friendship Bay.

The Beehive trail is actually a loop and sometimes referred to as the Beehive Loop. It is not advisable to hike back down the rung and ladders that was climbed during ascent. The trail continues past the summit and descends down to the Bowl, a small lake between the Beehive and Champlain mountains. 

When you reach the Bowl, the small lake pictured above, keep walking towards the side of the lake until you see a sign that says Bowl Trail and Champlain South Ridge Trail.  Take the Bowl Trail and head back to the trailhead where you had started the trip about half a mile down.

For the Beehive Trail, you must park in the Sand Beach parking lot and cross the street to reach the trail head. This isn't apparent, but there is no parking lot dedicated to the Beehive trailhead.


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.

Follow the blue paint on the rocks.  Wonderful coastal views.

The Ocean Path trailhead is the upper parking lot at Sand Beach.  You can cover Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, and Otters Point in the 4.4 miles roundtrip.  The hike is generally easy but you do have to traverse some rocky elements.  Footwear is recommended.  You will have to go up and down some staircases.

The 3/4 mile between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole is concrete but after that the trail gets rocky with uneven surfaces.  Past Thunder Hole where you will hear the water crashing hard during high tide, the trail ascents up to Otters Point which is the highest point on the trail.  This trail can also be accessed from Thunder Hole and Otters Point.