Spring is right around the corner, (and through 2 feet of snow here in Maine) bringing with it dreams of hiking the many beautiful trails of Acadia. A special little gem well worth the walk is The Bowl, a small pond near The Beehive on the east side of the Park. The Beehive is a round, rocky little mountain that can be viewed to the north from Sand Beach.
The trailhead for The Beehive and The Bowl starts almost across the road from the entrance to Sand Beach. On any hot day, one lane of the one-way road will be choked with overflow parking for the beach. On a quiet day, you can park in the beach lot and walk up to the trailhead. The entire hike is about one-and-a-half miles, maybe two. Unfortunately, at the beginning it is rather rough and steep going. The woods is filled with piles of granite boulders that tumbled off The Beehive. The trail leads over and through the boulder field. After a way the trek becomes less challenging, more like a quiet walk in the woods. It is all uphill, but not at too difficult an incline.
A few hundred feet along the path, there is an intersection, take the left trail to The Bowl. The thick woods filled with shadows, quiet rustling in the undergrowth, birdsong and the whispering of leaves in the sea breeze is a welcome cool spot on a summer day. Just about the time you wonder how long a half-mile can be, you come out at the prettiest little pond. On the northeast it is steeply flanked by the low Enoch Mountain.
The water is pure, cool, clean and transparent. The bottom of the pond is lined with sand, large rocks and some mucky mud. Little fish dart in the shallows. Out in the center, rippling rings spread from spots where larger fish have broken the surface to nab a fly for lunch. The trail passes along the southern and eastern side of the pond then up Enoch Mountain. From the top, the view is spectacular. What else could it be at Acadia?
After returning to the pond, it is all right to slip off your shoes and dip your hot feet in the water. The Bowl is not a public water supply protected from contact with humans. The adventurous hiker might prefer to swing back from The Bowl along the Beehive trail, across the back ridge of the mountain, then down the steep face to return to the trailhead. I prefer retracing the path I followed in. It’s all downhill to the road. My knees are not as fond of mountains as they were in their youth.