The Beehive: Acadia National Park’s Via Ferrata?

A few years ago, my family made the trek to Acadia National Park in Maine. Being residents of the Northeast, this was our first National Park. Needless to say it was both amazingly beautiful and extremely frustrating due to the crowds. But we figured it out, using the park’s wonderful shuttle system.

One of the more popular hikes is called The Beehive, a granite “peak” that overlooks Sand Beach. The route heads right up the steep south face of the peak and includes granite steps, iron rungs to climb up, and several handrails for exposed rock scrambling sections. It is NOT for people squeamish of heights. My wife was terrified, but went along with me and our two sons (ages 12 & 13).

In her mind, the route looked like the Via Ferrata in the Alps. If you are not familiar with the Via Ferrata, check out the awesome video from Mediocre Amateurs, one of my favorite YouTube Channels

In midday, The Beehive looks like a conga line climbing to the top. This is due to the number of people, narrow sections and generally people being careful. It is steep, you need to take your time on the rung ladders and narrow scrambles. You really cannot pass people in most sections.

We decided tackle the hike at 7 a.m. when there were very few people on the trail. This made the hike enjoyable and less unnerving for my wife. I have to say, there are a couple of sections where I was a bit nervous for my boys.

Although short, it is one of my most memorable climbs. The rebar ladders and bridges added to the amazing views. My wife, 3 years later, still gets a pit in her stomach when we talk about it.

Check out the video of our climb, you be the judge!

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