Hop On The Free Gatlinburg Trolley
A great way to get around is to take the Gatlinburg Trolley, a free option that operates 365 days a year and hits some of the top spots in the region. Board the trolley at any stop in the city and check off your itinerary in an easy, stress-free way.
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Image provided by City of Gatlinburg
Trolley Hours and Schedule: Plan Your Ride Accordingly
Trolley hours vary depending on the time of year and based on special events in the area. The basic schedule is: March through April: 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., May through October: 8:30 a.m. – 12 midnight, and November – February: Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Check out their map for the most accurate and up-to-date Gatlinburg trolley routes.
Discovering the Smoky Mountains with the Gatlinburg Trolley System
Originally created in 1980 with six trolleys in service, the Gatlinburg Trolley now has more than 20 cars in their fleet, providing safe, reliable service to not only the millions of visitors but the thousands of residents in the region.
There are two routes that serve the city, and the yellow route that provides transportation to the arts and crafts community. All vehicles in the fleet are also ADA equipped, making the trolley ADA and Title VI compliant.
The Mass Transit Center: A Hub for Trolley Connections
All trolleys stop at the Mass Transit Center located in Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, one of the most popular destinations for locals and visitors alike, especially for large groups and families.
The trolley is also a convenient way to get to downtown Gatlinburg without having to worry about parking. Just leave your vehicle at the free Park-n-Ride Lot at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center just off the Spur, grab a trolley map before you board, and you’ll be in the heart of the city within minutes.
Color-Coded Routes: Easy Navigation for Trolley Riders
Image of Gatlinburg Tennessee Trolley Routes provided by Gatlinburg.com
The color-coded routes help riders figure out which car to get on and when. Each trolley displays which color route it is on the front and side of the car to make it easy to navigate.
The Yellow Route heads toward the arts and crafts community and can be boarded at the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center at traffic light #5.
Traversing the entire eight-mile Glades/Buckhorn Loop, this route takes approximately one hour to complete, meaning it can be about an hour before it returns to pickup and dropoff points.
The yellow route is available every day from 10:30 am to 6 pm from April through October, but in November and December, you can only ride this trolley from Mondays to Saturdays.
The Blue Route: Discovering East Parkway and Community Center
The Blue Route covers the East Parkway and Community Center and departs from the free Park N’ Ride parking lot next to City Hall.
The trolley begins at the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center at traffic light #5 and arrives approximately every 45 minutes.
This is your best option for those looking for stops near and along the Parkway to East Parkway. It also heads to Rocky Top Sports World up to the Gatlinburg Community Center before it stops at the Mass Transit Center next to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
The Blue Route continues south on the Parkway to light #8 before making a turn onto Historic Nature Trail/Airport Road to the Park Vista.
Finally, the trolley travels along Cherokee Orchard Road and then heads back to the Parkway at light #6 at the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center.
The Purple Route: North Gatlinburg Parkway and Spur Welcome Center
Choose the purple route for the North Gatlinburg Parkway and Spur Welcome Center. Departing from the Park N’ Ride, this route moves through the entrance to Gatlinburg and along the Parkway before continuing south on River Road.
Leaving every 45 minutes, it also stops along parts of Ski Mountain Road before returning to the Parkway. Other stops include the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center before turning back to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center.
Both the blue and purple lines follow this schedule: February through April: 10:30 am to 10:00 pm, May through October: 8:30 am to midnight; and November to February: 10:30 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays and 10:30 am to 10:00 pm on weekends.
Image provided by City of Gatlinburg.
Whichever line you choose, be ready to see both the city and the gorgeous sights surrounding Gatlinburg. You may decide to hop off and sightsee something you didn’t initially plan, especially when you realize how convenient and easy it is to use the Gatlinburg Tennessee Trolley system.
If your looking for lodging in Gatlinburg check out the best cabin rentals here.