Oli’s Trolley, Bar Harbor—Acadia National Park Tour Review

Please share if you enjoy this content!

An Acadia National Park tour is a great way to view this beautiful and diverse habitat, and Oli’s Trolley, Bar Harbor, is the one to beat.

Acadia National Park is one of the most stunningly beautiful areas in the United States. Located mid-way along the Maine coast near the town of Bar Harbor, it protects the diverse and rugged natural beauty of this area.

There are a lot of different tour companies offering trips to Acadia National Park and the nearby areas. This post will focus on Oli’s Trolley and their 2.5-hour tour of Acadia National Park.

Would I recommend Oli’s Trolley, Bar Harbor, and Acadia tour? Read on to find out!

jordan pond, acadia national park, acadia, acadia national park trails, best hikes acadia national park
Jordan Pond

Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra. Please read the disclosures to learn more.

My 2.5 Hour Oli’s Trolley Bar Harbor Tour Review

Our tour with Oli’s Trolley was exceptional. The guide was really good—he was knowledgeable, engaging, and provided clear direction when we got to the stops.

He also answered any questions that we had and was clearly passionate about the park. He really enjoyed telling stories about the park, its history, and the important people who impacted this area and the landscape.

The only downside with the tour is that time is extremely limited. You only get 15 minutes at each location. It’s just enough time to walk over to the area (each was within a minute or two walk), snap a few pictures, wander a little, and head back.

If you need to use the bathroom, then depending on the time of year, you might entirely miss the stop. We did use the bathroom at Jordan Pond, but due to the line, we never got to see the pond. (Thankfully, we got to see it a couple of days earlier!)

Though this is a great way to see the top attractions in the park quickly, it might be worth taking the 4-hour tour to have a little extra time at the stops.

Additionally, if anyone on the bus takes their time getting back, everyone gets held up. (Note: this isn’t the case at Thunder Hole and Jordan Pond, as people can take the bus.

However, there is no public transportation that goes up Cadillac Mountain, so he has to wait for everyone. We lost nearly 15 minutes as some people came back late.)

Even still, this was a great tour to take to see the top attractions in Acadia National Park, and I’d recommend this Acadia National Park tour and tour company.

Oli’s Trolley Bar Harbor Tours

There are three tours available with Oli’s Trolley:

  1. The 2.5-hour Acadia National Park tour mentioned in this article visits Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, and Jordan Pond, with 15-minute stops at each. This tour currently costs $53. It’s available from late April through the end of October at 10 a.m.
  2. The four-hour Acadia National Park tour includes longer 30-minute stops at the same places the 2.5-hour tour visits: Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, and Jordan Pond. It also includes a stop at the Sieur de Monts Spring Area. This tour currently costs $78. It’s available from July through the end of October at 9:30 a.m. Lunch is not provided.
  3. The Downtown Bar Harbor Tour lasts for 30 minutes and costs $20 for adults. It’s offered daily at 11:15 a.m. On this tour, you’ll explore the town of Bar Harbor, seeing historic sites, mansions, shops, restaurants, and other points of interest in the downtown area. It’s a great grounding tour to help you plan your exploration of the area. You’ll also learn about the history of the village from 1796 to current.

Oli’s Trolley also offers private tours, corporate events, and even weddings. Contact them to learn more.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is a preserve that contains a number of different island areas in the mid-coast section of Maine. It encompasses nearly half of Mount Desert Island, which is the main part of the park and the best known. Overall, the park includes nearly 50,000 acres.

It also includes portions of 16 smaller outlying islands, the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, and some of the Isle au Haut.

The park protects Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the US Atlantic Coast. It also includes rocky headlands carved by glaciers and a diverse island landscape filled with a high level of biodiversity and rich cultural heritage.

Much of the roads and the historic carriage road system were founded and financed by JD Rockefeller Jr. It was originally named the Sieur de Monts National Monument by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and later renamed the Lafayette National Park in 1919. It was then named Acadia National Park in 1929.

This park area offers a lot of different activities from spring through autumn, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and more. There are guided tours and guided boat tours as well.

More than 4 million visitors a year enjoy Acadia National Park. It’s a wonderland in the northeast that is well worth visiting.

ocean path, ocean path trail, acadia national park, acadia, acadia national park trails, best hikes acadia national park
Ocean Path

Oli’s Trolley, Bar Harbor Tours—My Detailed Experience

Oli’s Trolley offers narrated Bar Harbor, Maine, tours of Mount Desert Island. This is where Bar Harbor and the largest section of Acadia National Park are both located. They offer two options for Acadia National Park tours and one for Bar Harbor.

They offer a comfortable and relaxing way to see the top sights in Acadia National Park. And their trollies are distinctive-looking, reminiscent of an old-fashioned trolley car. You can’t miss them among the many tour buses!

window.fd(‘form’, { formId: ‘5f654c78bf43d8ae8bbfa457’, containerEl: ‘#fd-form-5f654c78bf43d8ae8bbfa457’ });

Booking & Checking-In Process

You have the option to book online or in person at their shop on the water in Bar Harbor. Booking the tour was easy—just go to their website, select the tour, and make your payment online with a secure transaction.

If you pay online, you do need to show your receipt in their shop at the Oli’s Trolley Gift Shop in Harbor Place Building at 1 West Street or at 55 West Street, where Oli’s Trolley Station is. Here, you’ll get a ticket to show the driver.

Otherwise, you can pay in person to collect it at either location. The location is right on the water at Frenchman Bay, and it’s a great area to look out to watch the boats.

The location isn’t far from where the cruise boats come in, so it’s easy for cruisers to find. This does mean that it may be extra crowded when a ship is in the dock.

Meeting Location

It’s only a minute or two walk to get to the meeting location at 55 West Street, also right on the water. You’ll see the trolley buses and a small crowd most likely, so it’s easy to find.

Tips and Suggestions for Oli’s Trolley, Bar Harbor Tours

  • You’re recommended to check in 30 minutes prior to your tour departure time.
  • Restrooms are available at both check-in locations. They are also available at the stops, but keep in mind your time will be limited.
  • Pets are not allowed (except for service dogs).
  • You may bring food and (non-alcoholic) drinks.
  • Children are welcome, but parents are expected to keep an eye on them at all times.
  • Bring comfortable shoes and a jacket.
  • If you do decide to cancel, 24 hours of notice are required with your booking number.
bar harbor, frenchman wharf, frenchman bay, stewman's, things to see in Bar Harbor, things to do in Bar Harbor
Near the meeting place on Frenchman Bay


Oli’s Trolley does recommend taking the Island Shuttle bus when possible, as parking in Bar Harbor can be challenging, especially during peak season (from June to September). If you decide to drive, they provide some parking suggestions nearby.

We went in October and found parking easily. Street parking in the center of town is paid for by coins or by downloading the parking app ParkMobile. It’s easy to use, and you just select the amount of time you want to park.


The trollies seat around 48 people. They have a configuration with two seats on each side and around 10-12 rows. The seats are benches that aren’t super comfortable, but they are ok enough for the short rides.


This is a narrated tour, so your guide will walk you through the rich history of the area as you drive. He/she will also tell you all about the different locations you’ll see and what to expect.

Our guide was fantastic and was clearly passionate about the job, the history, and the park. He was knowledgeable, patient with questions, and encouraged them.

Tour Details

The 2.5-hour Acadia National Park tour is great if you want to learn more about the park and maximize your time. On this tour, you visit three locations in the park: Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, and Jordan Pond.

You may start your tour at Jordan Pond or at Cadillac Mountain. The park service only allows one of each tour company’s buses up the mountain at a time, so the order may vary.

During your drive to the first destination, the guide shares the history of Acadia National Park. First, you get to see the historic mansions of the wealthy former residents of Bar Harbor.

The history dates back to its discovery in 1604, though Native Americans lived there over ten thousand years prior. As you ride, the guide points out different spectacular scenery like Frenchman Bay and Paradise Hill.

From there, you’ll stop at the three sites with time for short walks and pictures. The driver also points out the Sand Beach and Otter Cliffs.

olis trolley, oli's trolley, Acadia National Park tours, acadia national park tour, bar harbor tour, bar harbor beach, ocean beach, the sand beach, the sand beach bar harbor
The Sand Beach

Cadillac Mountain

The top highlight of Acadia National Park, Cadillac Mountain, is a must-see. The most popular time to visit is at sunrise, when you can see the incredible views of this area from above. However, it’s amazing at any time.

There is a reservation fee for vehicles. However, it’s part of the tour. You’ll stop for 15 minutes (or 30 on the 4-hour tour) to check out these amazing views.

Head down some of the side paths to get closer to the edge to really enjoy what this area has to offer. It’s breathtaking at any time of day.

acadia national park, things to do in acadia national park, things to see in acadia national park, cadillac mountain, view from cadillac mountain, acadia national park tours
Cadillac Mountain

Thunder Hole on Ocean Road

This may be one of the most interesting spots in Acadia National Park. You’ll head down the path on Ocean Road to one of the smaller paths toward the rocky cliffs and the ocean.

The water carved out a narrow area between the rocks in the cliff. When the water washes up, the crashing noise sounds like thunder. It’s pretty incredible to hear.

thunder hole, acadia national park tours
Thunder Hole

Jordan Pond

Jordan Pond is one of the most picturesque areas in Acadia National Park and is also a must-see. There is a lovely, easy walk around the pond that takes around an hour, depending on how often you stop to enjoy the views.

You only have fifteen minutes here (30 for the 4-hour tour), so make the most of it. Go directly to the pond and walk on the rocky outcrops for gorgeous views.

Jordan Pond House is known for its popover with blueberry jam. Unfortunately, they don’t offer it to go. Plan to come back, make a reservation the day or two before, and walk around the lake. The popover is a lovely treat after your walk.

jordan pond, acadia national park, acadia, acadia national park trails, best hikes acadia national park
Jordan Pond

Why You Should Consider Oli’s Trolley, Bar Harbor Tours

There are a lot of great tour guides in this area, so why should you Consider Oli’s Trolley? Here are some of the reasons.

  1. This is a family-run business, so you’re supporting a local small business.
  2. They have been operating in Acadia National Park for 27 years.
  3. They have an environmental pledge, striving to reduce their environmental impact. They do this by reducing waste, increasing operating efficiency, and educating their tour guests. Some examples are using paperless technology and installing energy-efficient products. They also participate in Bar Harbor’s waste stream management to reduce and reverse detrimental global environmental practices.
  4. One of the most popular Bar Harbor tours available.

We had a fantastic experience with Oli’s Trolley, and I’m thrilled to recommend them. Check them out if you’re in the area!

You have a lot of options for where to spend your tourist dollars. I personally love supporting small businesses that have stood the test of time and demonstrate similar ethics that I choose to support.

If you join one of Oli’s Trolley tours, let me know!

You Might Also Like

Like it? Pin it!

Please share if you enjoy this content!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *