There’s exciting news in Gatlinburg this summer! For the fifth year, the City of Gatlinburg will be offering a free trolley service to visitors and locals in the area. During the trolley’s peak season, enjoy free rides in designated trolleys that will be stopping at many places along the busy Parkway. Starting at traffic light #1 on the north end of town, the shuttle service will go all the way to traffic light #10 at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stopping at many popular attractions and convenient areas along the way. The trolleys will run from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day from June 13 until August 15.
The free trolley service couldn’t come at a better time, as summer is a peak season in the Smokies. Instead of fighting traffic in your car, hop on a FREE open-air trolley for your main mode of transportation. Traveling by trolley also allows you to experience the very thing that many people come to the Smokies for the sole purpose of doing – sightseeing! As the summer breeze blows past you, check out the mountain scenery and local attractions. You can shop, dine, and play all summer without having to worry about finding parking. It’s the ultimate convenience if you want to explore downtown and see what all the city has to offer. Five popular stops along the routes include:
1. The Village Shops – A collection of more than two dozen shops, this little gem is located in the heart of Gatlinburg. Get gear for hiking, hand-thrown pottery, sterling silver jewelry, gourmet olive oil, handmade candles, toys, coffee, and so much more.
2. Fort Fun Family Entertainment Center – Fort Fun is loaded with entertainment for the whole family. Enjoy outdoor and indoor miniature golf, laser tag, a motion ride, bumper cars, the Laser Maze, a 3D theater, gem mining, and a video arcade!
3. Gatlinburg Space Needle – Enjoy 360-degree views of the mountains and city at the top of the 407-foot Gatlinburg Space Needle! In addition to great views, the Space Needle offers shows at the Iris Theater and games at the 25,000-square-foot Arcadia arcade.
4. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Hop on any trolley to head to the #1 rated aquarium, home to thousands of underwater sea creatures, 12-foot sharks, and an impressive underwater tunnel. You’ll also love Stingray Bay, the Penguin Playhouse, Coral Reef, and the new SWARM exhibit!
5. Gatlinburg Convention Center – Many of the city’s most popular events are held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Check the city calendar to see what’s happening while you’ll be in town, and then hop on the Red Route or Green Route to get there.
About the Gatlinburg Trolley
Outside of the free summer service, the Gatlinburg Trolley is still incredibly convenient and super affordable. Even if you won’t be here in summer, you can hop on the trolley (enclosed, so you’ll stay warm in winter) to get around town. Running since 1980, Gatlinburg’s trolley system is the fifth largest mass transit system in Tennessee. It has grown from just six trolleys to the 20 that now service the areas in and around Gatlinburg – about 50 miles. Today, shuttles are handicap accessible and a GPS allows guests to see trolley shelters and arrival times.
March to April – 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.
May to October – 8 a.m. until 12 a.m.
November to February – 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday) and 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. (Fridays and Saturdays)
Routes and Fares
Downtown River Road | Red Route | $.50
Downtown Parkway | Green Route | $.50 | May – November
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community | Yellow Route | $1 all day | April – December
Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Tan Route | $2 round-trip | June – October
Dollywood | Pink Route | $1 each way
East Parkway and City Hall | Blue Route | $.50
North Gatlinburg Parkway and Welcome Center | Purple Route | $.50
During winter, you can check out the beautiful light displays along the Parkway with a ride on the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights. The 45-minute ride departs three times each night from November through December and each Saturday in January. It’s the best way to enjoy the winter displays – just sit back and relax.
Gatlinburg Mass Transit
88 River Road, Suite 101
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
If you plan to spend the day around town, pick a cabin that’s conveniently located. You can park near a trolley pickup or even walk from some cabins. River Romance, Simone’s Cottage, Skinny Dippin’, and A River Song are a few of the wonderful and cozy cabins within walking distance of downtown Gatlinburg. Just imagine leaving your vehicle at the cabin and only traveling by trolley. What a charming, fun, and cheap way to get around!
We have more than 200 cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, so even if you don’t want to stay right downtown, you’ll find something to meet your needs. With fully equipped kitchens and comfortable interiors, they include a variety of amenities. Some are furnished with TVs in the bedrooms, king-size beds, or game tables. Others boast private indoor pools, movie rooms, hot tubs, and incredible mountain views. Browse by amenity to find the perfect cabin for you! And with everything from one-bedroom cabins to large-group lodges, we can accommodate couples, families, groups of friends, reunions, and retreats.