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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Beehive Trail (in a wedding dress) - Acadia National Park

The Beehive Trail in Acadia National Park is famous for its insane views, interesting terrain, and traverse across iron rungs. Let's just say the Beehive Trail is short, steep, and oh so sweet. There are handholds and ladders where you need it and while there are narrow ledges and spots that are a bit trickier, it isn't nearly as terrifying as the Precipice Trail. Of course, this hike took us about four times longer than it should have because we decided to tackle the trail in some special yet abnormal hiking attire. Adam wore his wedding suit all while carrying my bouquet in our pack. Let's not forget that he also had to help me manage ladders, rungs, and climbs in a fitted wedding dress (train included). 

Yep, we decided to take wedding photos perched on the edge of the Beehive.  You see, even before the Coronavirus hit, we had planned on eloping with just our family.  We planned a tiny 15 person ceremony in Yosemite National Park with a second day spent hiking out around the park with our photographer for a chance at some once in a lifetime wedding photography.  When the Coronavirus hit, we decided to shift our elopement to a more local spot and we were married at a private property on a lake in Maine and we took our wedding photos to a different National Park, Acadia.  While at first we were disappointed we wouldn't have some of the *classic* Yosemite photos (it's a popular spot for brides) we were quickly blown away at how much Acadia had to offer.  On a short trail, we could enjoy the amazing scenery of mountain ledges, beaches, and lakes right here in New England.  It was unique and i'm not sure Yosemite would have given us a similar experience. Acadia was breathtaking with clear skies and incredible views, all ending in the most perfect foggy sunset.  In one afternoon, we felt like we were in Yosemite and Alaska, the coast of Oregon and the beaches of Maine. 

What we ended up with was a fun afternoon with a photographer, amazing photos, and one pretty epic trail guide.  This trail guide is going to be quite different from the others and this one features amazing professional photos from the talented Kat Carney of Swell and Stone and the photos do most of the talking here. I don't need to convince you how beautiful this trail is, you can scroll right through and see how gorgeous it is, captured through Kat's lens. 

Taking photos in the park, hiking the trail in a wedding dress, following Kat's lead as we traversed the trail, we - had - a - blast. It was such a fun experience to hike along the trail together, Kat snapping photos, and directing us a bit as we smooched and canoodled on cliff edges. We kept joking we would love it if a professional photographer could follow us on all of our hikes, so perfectly capturing the stunning views in a frame. While we hope to meet up with her for some New England hikes, we are so happy we chose this talented human and this beautiful park to celebrate love and laughter.  Take a peek and see for yourself just how fun and beautiful this trail really is. 

Map from All Trails

Map from the Outdoor Project

Trail Stats

Parking: Follow Park Loop Road to the Sand Beach parking area.  This parking area is often packed for beachgoers heading to Sand Beach. Get there early (or after 3pm) for a parking spot for this hike.   

Trail: You can find the Bowl Trailhead off Park Loop Road across from the Sand Beach parking lot.  You will go up the Beehive Trail and return via the Bowl Trail (all the iron rungs trails are highly recommended to be one way traffic only). 

Distance: 1.4-mile loop 

Elevation: 488 feet gained - the summit is 520 feet 

Sights: Views of Sand Beach, Great Head, and Frenchman Bay and The Bowl (a small pond nestled behind the Beehive).

Red Tape: It can be packed during the busy season, make sure you head out for the trail on a weekday (after 3pm) and early if you can (especially on the weekend).  We hiked it on a Monday afternoon and while there were others on the trail, we did not find it too packed.  If you are visiting during the hot summer months and you start to see a line of cars by the trailhead, know that 95% of these cars are for the beach, Sand Beach.  The trail does have a series of ladders, rungs, and exposes edges.  There may be some challenging areas especially for anyone afraid of heights. 

Dogs/Kids:  Dogs are not allowed on the trail as the ladders and rungs would be impossible for the four-legged variety.  Due to the rungs, ladders, and exposed cliff edges, I would call this trail safe for older more experienced kids only.  

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