Traffic jams, full parking lots, and long lines can turn a family vacation into an unforgettable moment. With as many as 11-million people visiting the Great Smoky Mountains each year visitors will likely find themselves in one of these situations.
At times traffic along the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway becomes so congested it can take hours to make it all the way from I-40 to the park. Even visitors to Dollywood may find themselves waiting in long lines just to catch the tram to the entrance.
While it isn’t as intricate as big city public transportation systems, the trolleys running in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville offer ways to get to your destinations with less hassle.
Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge and the Gatlinburg Welcome Center provide the best spots to find a place to park and board the trolley. Parking is free at both places and trolleys depart at regular intervals.
While visitors to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country take trams from the parking lots to the entrances, the Trolley from Patriot Park takes you right to the entrance. The ride can save you both time and money as both theme parks have fees for parking.
The Pigeon Forge Trolley runs to the Courthouse in Sevierville and to the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. The end result is a system that can take you to just about every big attraction in the area.
Other ways to avoid traffic problems in the Smokies is to follow some of the same rules you would in a big city. Find out what the peak travel times are and try to plan your trips around them. Also, look for other ways to get around the area.
Each town in the Smoky Mountain towns is easily navigable on foot. You will also find a number of bike routes and highways and side streets that might take you to your destinations.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers up to date road closure information on its website. You can also get the information by calling (865) 436-1200, extension 631.