By Leif Palmer
Posted on October 21, 2022
There's a lot to see and do in downtown Gatlinburg, TN. The main thoroughfare, The Parkway, is lined with dozens upon dozens of fun family attractions as well as unique shops, tempting restaurants and lodging choices galore. It's a lot of excitement packed into a relatively small piece of real estate.
As a result, much of what you would want to see and do in downtown Gatlinburg is accessible by foot. But we understand that some days, you're just over it and don't feel like walking another step. Or perhaps you have physical limitations that make it difficult to do a lot of walking. Or in the extreme temperatures of winter or summer, it simply may not be as pleasant to spend a lot of walking time outdoors.
That's when Gatlinburg's trolley system comes to the rescue, offering point-to-point transportation not just downtown but to destinations all over town as well as beyond Gatlinburg, including Pigeon Forge (where you can then connect to points beyond with that city's trolley system). The best part about the Gatlinburg trolley, however, is that there are no longer any fares or fees to ride it. It's free.
If you're driving into downtown for the day (as opposed to already staying at a downtown lodging provider), you'll find that we offer lots of Gatlinburg trolley parking options. We have parking lots up and down the Parkway, so that once you've secured your vehicle for the day, you're only footsteps away from the nearest trolley stop.
Right now, there are three main routes:
Yellow Route – This one services the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, primarily along Glades Rd. and Buckhorn Rd. This route operates on a seasonal basis, so it's best to visit www.gatlinburg.com to verify the latest accessibility during the time of year you visit.
Purple Route – This route serves the free Gatlinburg Park N' Ride lot as well as the Gatlinburg Welcome Center located on The Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. (That's your access point to Pigeon Forge.) It covers the south end of downtown, runs along River Road and then goes up through northern end of downtown and onward to the Spur welcome center.
Blue Route – This is the widest-reaching route. Its territory includes Historic Nature Trail and Cherokee Orchard Rd. as well as the downtown Parkway and U.S. Hwy. 321 (West Parkway), all the way out to the Arts & Crafts Community.
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.