Planning your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains? Ready to check out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, arts and crafts in the area, family-friendly attractions, unique mountain shops, local wineries, and more? Take advantage of the Gatlinburg trolley to get around along the Gatlinburg Parkway and the surrounding areas.
Did you know the Gatlinburg Trolley is now FREE for all rides? No more keeping up with a trolley pass or looking for exact change. Just hop on and explore! Running from May 1 to October 31, the Gatlinburg Trolley System offers visitors to the Smokies convenient, easy, FREE, and safe travel around the Smokies. Trolleys run from 8:30 AM until midnight each day, with 2 routes covering most of the City of Gatlinburg and a third route serving the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community which sits on the 8-mile loop road (Glades and Buckhorn Road).
Benefits of Riding the Gatlinburg Trolley
- FREE transportation
- A charming and unique way to get around
- Stress-free way to explore the Smokies
- NO searching for parking or fighting traffic
- Plenty of routes and stops!
Watch for street trolley signs around town or check out the trolley map here to learn more about the trolley service in the Smokies. Trolley stops are located all around town, and many offer covered space for shade. There are also several park-n-ride lots for your convenience.
PURPLE ROUTE | City of Gatlinburg | 8:30 AM – MIDNIGHT, DAILY
To board the Purple Route of the Gatlinburg Trolley System, park at the FREE Gatlinburg Park ‘N Ride lot/Gatlinburg Welcome Center on Highway 441/the Spur situated between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Trolleys depart about every 45 minutes during route hours from the South end of the Park ‘N Ride lot. The route runs through the Gatlinburg entrance, along the Parkway, South on River Road, on to the Parkway and downtown, and back to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center.
- North Parkway
- Spur Welcome Center
- Park ‘N Ride
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Gatlinburg Convention Center
BLUE ROUTE | City of Gatlinburg | 8:30 AM – MIDNIGHT, DAILY
Park at the FREE Gatlinburg Park ‘N Ride lot (next to the Gatlinburg City Hall) on East Parkway to hop on the Blue Route or Yellow Route of the Gatlinburg Trolley System. This route begins at the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center at traffic light #5 and runs about every 45 minutes as well. The route runs along the Parkway, to US Highway 321 East Parkway, on to Rocky Top Sports World, to the Gatlinburg Community Center, over to downtown, South along the Parkway and Highway 441, to traffic light #8, and onto the Historic Nature Trail/Airport Road. From Park Vista, the route runs along Cherokee-Orchard Road back to traffic light #6 on the Parkway before ending at the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center.
- East Parkway
- Community Center
- Rocky Top Sports World
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Convention Center
YELLOW ROUTE | Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community | 10:30 AM – 6 PM, MON-SAT
APRIL – OCTOBER, NOVEMBER – DECEMBER
The Yellow Route of the Gatlinburg Trolley System that runs to the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community begins at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. Routes run about every hour.
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
- Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community
ATTRACTIONS + RESTAURANTS + SHOPS ALONG THE ROUTES
The stoplights in the Smokies are numbered to make travel easier. Read on to see which attractions, restaurants, and popular stops you’ll find at each of the stoplights along the Gatlinburg Trolley routes.
Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf
36 holes through 2 courses provide an excellent day mini-golfing with the family in this delightful mountain-themed course with the Smokies resting in the backdrop.
Sweet Fanny Adams Theater
The oldest and most original theater company to grace the Smoky Mountain area, this 1890s-style show is sure to keep you laughing, but watch out, you may be dragged onstage into the hilarity of this intimate theater!
Hard Rock Café
The infamous restaurant serves up savory burgers and fries along with a music-themed dining room that will have your toes tappin’ in between every delicious bite.
Smoky Mountain Angler
Don’t miss your chance to fish in one of the East Coast’s last natural trout habitats and over 2,000 miles of babbling streams to cast your line into! Pick up (or rent) everything you need for a day on the river or opt to go to all the best fishing holes on a guided tour!
Smoky Mountain Winery
With hundreds of award-winning wines over 2 decades, you’ll want to visit the Smoky Mountain Winery for free tastings and a behind-the-scenes look at their beautiful winery nestled in downtown Gatlinburg.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
This impressive building is hard to miss on the Parkway; experience hundreds of aquatic species along your tour of this multi-level aquarium, and maybe even opt to come face-to-face with penguins and stingrays!
No Way Jose’s
Smooth, flavorful margaritas; mouthwatering, sizzling fajitas; and incredible views right on the Little Pigeon River
Guinness World Record Museum
Interactive exhibits and tons of fun facts make this an educational stop the kids will love
It’s like shopping in the little towns of the Alps in this Swedish-inspired architectural area where you can find warm coffee and hot cocoa, the perfect Smoky Mountain souvenirs, and so much more.
It’s a day of carnival-inspired fun right in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. If the lights and sounds don’t lure you in, the smell of freshly made Ogle dogs will!
Ripley’s collections of the world’s weirdest and coolest oddities from his extensive travels have come to rest in downtown Gatlinburg where you’ll be greeted by a hovering 2,000-pound marble ball!
Gatlinburg Sky Lift
Float to the top of Crockett Mountain on the all-new Gatlinburg Sky Lift as you take in incredible views of the Smokies on the way up and gorgeous views of the city on your way back down.
Gatlinburg Space Needle
One ticket lends visitors two rides on the glass elevator to the top of the 360-degree viewing deck 407 feet above the streets of downtown Gatlinburg; experience the beauty of the Gateway City both day and night!
Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
Test your mental strength and bravery in the area’s largest haunted house where all your worst nightmares are enclosed!
Gatlinburg Convention Center
Home to some of the area’s largest annual events, such as the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, be sure to check out what is currently being hosted by the Gatlinburg Convention Center on your tour of the city.
Hollywood Star Cars Museum
From old-time Hollywood classics to the newest hot-rods like Bumblebee from the Transformers franchise, you’ll love being star-struck by these vehicular celebrities!
Nantahala Outdoor Center Great Outpost
Plan your Smoky Mountain outdoor adventures with the experts, pick up all the gear and apparel you could ever need, rent bikes to tour the Smokies, and climb the 25-foot indoor climbing wall before crossing the swinging rope bridge!
5 POPULAR STOPS ALONG THE GATLINBURG TROLLEY
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 aboard the trolley!
About the Gatlinburg Trolley
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 more than 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.
You can check out the beautiful light displays along the Parkway during winter 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.
SAFETY RULES FOR THE TROLLEY
To keep all riders safe, a few COVID-19 safety measures are in place. Masks are required for all trolley riders (Federal Transportation Administration mandate), and standing is not allowed. Drivers will continue to sanitize seats, handles, and any touch surfaces, and maintenance staff will use fogging machines to disinfect daily.
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. Just imagine leaving your vehicle at the cabin and only traveling by trolley. What a charming, fun, and FREE way to get around!
We have hundreds of 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 1-bedroom cabins to large-group lodges, we can accommodate couples, families, groups of friends, reunions, and retreats.Staying in Pigeon Forge? They also have a trolley system so you can easily get around to Dollywood, Pigeon Forge restaurants and shops, attractions, and more.