By Leif Palmer
Posted on November 21, 2019
Baby, it's cold outside. That means walking around town isn't quite as fun as it is in warmer weather – unless you're bundled up like Randy in A Christmas Story. Thankfully, visitors to the city of Gatlinburg have access to an awesome trolley system that will get them most places they'd want to go around town. Pay 50 cents to a dollar for one-way fares or buy a trolley pass and ride anywhere you want, all day, for only $2 per person. Here's a quick overview of your options.
This covers River Road and services the Gatlinburg Convention Center. In winter, departures are every 35 minutes from the Mass Transit Center downtown.
This trolley will take you to the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community and back to downtown Gatlinburg. This can take as long as one hour to complete. Through December, this route is not available on Sundays.
Take this trolley if you're venturing out East Parkway (U.S. 321) toward the Gatlinburg Community Center. Departures are every 45 minutes.
This trolley takes you to the Spur Welcome Center and back downtown. Departures are every 30 minutes.
Take this trolley to get to Dollywood and back to downtown Gatlinburg. Note, however, that this route only runs through December and only on days the Pigeon Forge theme park is open.
Also note that trolleys that service Historic Nature Trail and the national park are not in operation this time of year.
If you want to see the Winterfest lights this season, your best option is to park in one of our parking garages in Gatlinburg, TN, and then hop aboard the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights. Enjoy climate-controlled comfort, costumed guides and complimentary hot chocolate courtesy of Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies as you let someone else do the driving and enjoy the city's millions of colorful holiday lights.
This trolley departs the Mass Transit Center at traffic light #5 for a 45-minute ride. Tours run three times nightly through December (excluding the first Friday in December, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day), and each Saturday night in January. Departures are at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 p.m. each night of operation. The cost is $10 per person, and you can purchase tickets at www.gatlinburg.com/events.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in Gatlinburg. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.