Gatlinburg’s trolley system is the fifth largest mass transit system in the state of Tennessee. The trolley system was established in 1980 with a fleet of only six trolleys. Gatlinburg now has 20 trolleys servicing approximately 50 miles in and around Gatlinburg and surrounding areas.
Visitors can pick up free trolley maps at each of the Gatlinburg Welcome Centers. Park your car and hop aboard the Gatlinburg Trolley (all but Tan and Pink routes) unlimited times for only $2.00 per day! The Trolley Pass is available at numerous participating Gatlinburg lodging facilities, Gatlinburg City Hall, as well as the two Gatlinburg Welcome Centers. To help you make the most of your next vacation, we have put together a guide to five of the most popular places you can travel using Gatlinburg’s trolley system.
1. Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community
The Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community is the largest group of independent artisans in the United States. Visitors to this 8-mile loop off of the East Parkway will find a variety of shops, galleries, and studios that showcase the work of Smoky Mountain-based artists and craftspeople. If you’re looking for handcrafted souvenirs from your getaway in Gatlinburg, this is the place to find them! The Arts & Crafts Community is serviced by the Gatlinburg trolley’s Yellow Route.
2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the most visited destinations in Gatlinburg. Ranked among the top 10 aquariums in the United States by TripAdvisor, Ripley’s is famous for its hands-on exhibits. Visitors will have the chance to pet a real live stingray at Touch A Ray Bay, glide on a moving sidewalk through Shark Lagoon, and crawl through transparent tunnels at the Penguin Playhouse. The Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center is located right next door to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, so you can ride the trolley straight to the aquarium.
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Gatlinburg trolley also makes trips to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America’s most popular national park. Visitors will be able to take the trolley to some of the park’s very best spots, including the Sugarlands Visitor Center, Laurel Falls Parking Area, and Elkmont. Whether you’re looking for a fun hike or a scenic picnic, you will love visiting the Smokies. The national park is serviced by the Tan Route.
4. Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts was founded over 100 years ago as the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School. Today, visitors to Arrowmont will find a 13-acre campus with galleries that are filled with beautiful Appalachian artwork. The school also hosts a variety of special events and workshops throughout the year. The Arrowmont School is just a five-minute walk from the Gatlinburg Mass Transit Center.
In addition to all of the wonderful destinations in Gatlinburg, the trolley will also take you to the world-famous Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge. Owned by country legend Dolly Parton, this amazing park offers thrilling rides, excellent music shows, seasonal festivals, and mouthwatering food. Dollywood is serviced by the trolley’s Pink Route.
Please note that many of the trolley routes are seasonal. For the details on all of the routes mentioned above, visit the official website for the Gatlinburg trolley.