My husband and I have used this trolley system a few times. We mostly used it when we stayed at the Sidney James since it was all the way up at the end of Historic Nature Trail near the intersection of Cherokee Orchard Rd. The walk from the parkway up Historic Nature Trail is kind of steep. So, IF we were tired after a long day of play, we would use the trolley to get back to the hotel. It only cost us 25 or 50 cents each to ride from the parkway to our hotel. And it did stop right in front of our hotel..so that was really convenient. We did wait a few times outside of our hotel to catch the trolley back downtown, but it did not seem like it ran that often (maybe every 20-30 minutes). Sometimes we would just decide to walk downtown instead of waiting for the trolley since the walk down Historic Nature Trail was easier than the walk back. However, it did come in especially handy when we had my Mom with us since it was hard for her to walk long distances OR up/downhill.
We mostly rode the GREEN or RED trollies since they covered the Parkway, Cherokee Orchard Rd, Historic Nature Trail and River Rd. However, you can use this trolley system to venture a little further outside of downtown if you want. At light #5, you can also catch a trolley that will go to the Arts & Crafts Loop, City Hall/Gatlinburg Community Center, Dollywood, the Gatlinburg Welcome Center/The Spur OR parts of the National Park. Fares range up to $2.00 depending on the route chosen & require that you have exact change.
Overall, we had a good experience with the Gatlinburg Trolley system. I would recommend it & would use it again IF I were tired of walking. We enjoy walking around town instead of taking the trolley. However, it can come in handy IF you are tired, have people with you that have limitations, difficulty walking OR trouble keeping up with the rest of the group. It is easy to use and well worth the minimal fares. Plus many of the drivers seem to be friendly.
NOTE: In the winter, they have the GATLINBURG WINTER MAGIC TROLLEY RIDE OF LIGHTS that will take you on a 45 minute ride to look at all the winter lights displays. It runs 3 times per night during the winter magic season. I haven't gotten to ride this trolley yet since we mostly visit in the summer, but it should be noted that this service is offered.
TIP: Taking the trolley to Dollywood is a good way to save money, since you will NOT have to pay the parking fee at Dollywood. Plus it is fun to let the trolley do the driving after a long day of play in the amusement park!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC