There’s nothing quite like summer in the Smoky Mountains, and every year Gatlinburg attracts families eager for adventure and down-home charm. The city has never skimped when it comes to welcoming guests. That’s why, for the seventh year in a row, Gatlinburg’s popular Free Trolley Service on Parkway is joining the ranks of its other color-coded routes.
Yes, this special summer-only trolley service is free! If you’re visiting Gatlinburg between June 17th and August 12th, you can leave your car parked and relax as you and the family are shuttled around downtown. The trolley is handicap accessible and bike-friendly, and route maps are available in English and Spanish.
Where to Find the Trolleys
The free trolley this year has 40 stops along the downtown strip. The color coded trolleys have over 100 stops in and around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Just look for the Street Trolley signs. Don’t worry about long waits; they run frequently. You can also look up the trolley locator through your smartphone to track when the next one is coming and plan the best route to go by. As you study up the places you can go by trolley, check out our guide to some of the Best Shopping in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge to plan your adventures.
Free route: these charming and clearly marked free trolleys offer something for everyone at their 40 stops along the Parkway. They are welcoming, open-air, and great for sightseers and families. See something interesting in downtown Gatlinburg? Hop off and explore. The next trolley will be along soon.
Red route: the Red route makes a circuit in downtown Gatlinburg. Here you can find the Aquarium of the Smokies or loop out to Historic Nature Trail and the Convention Center.
Yellow Route: one fare here provides all day access to attractions along the 8-mile scenic loop that forms the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community. You can literally spend all day browsing, shopping, stopping for food, or just taking a handy bench somewhere and watching the world go by. This is a great way to take in the best Appalachian arts and crafts old and new in all media, from glass, metal and fabric to canvas, wood or clay – and then some!
Green Route: this trolley is a great route to take at mealtimes. You can drop by one of the many restaurants along Parkway Road or treat the kids to a scoop of ice cream.
Blue Route: enjoy more of those amazing mountain views along this trolley route that connects the East Parkway with downtown Gatlinburg. You can leave your car at the Park-N-Ride and swing by attractions like campgrounds and stables before connecting to other routes in town.
Purple Route: the Purple line heads north in the direction of Pigeon Forge. This route swings by many local hotels and ends up at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center on Highway 321. Hop out here for route maps, restaurant and lodging recommendations, and to learn about all the exciting events happening this summer in Gatlinburg.
Pink Route: this is probably the best known and most loved of the trolley routes, connecting generations of families with the excitement in Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. You won’t miss a minute of the action at this iconic family amusement park because the trolley is timed to work with Dollywood’s opening and closing hours.
Tan Route: you can’t visit Gatlinburg without exploring those gorgeous mountains overlooking the town, and the Tan Route is a great way to do it. This trolley will take you by the Sugarlands Visitors’ Center and beautiful sights like Laurel Falls.
Fares vary from free to $2.00, depending on the route. There is also a special $2.00 a day unlimited access pass for certain lines. You can buy the pass at the City Welcome Center, City Hall, or the Mass Transit Center. To find out more, check the Gatlinburg Trolley Routes & Fares page and the Pigeon Forge Trolley Fares page.
TIP. For an overview of the whole system, check out our guide to the Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge Trolleys page.