Pigeon Forge on a Budget: Exploring the Town via Trolley

Pigeon Forge on a Budget

One of the best ways to navigate the Great Smoky Mountains economically is to hop aboard the Pigeon Forge trolley. Not only is the trolley a cost-effective means of transport, but it also adds a unique and nostalgic twist to your journey. With routes that stop at many of the attractions Pigeon Forge offers, the trolley also ensures you experience all the fun in a fast, efficient, and convenient fashion. Get ready to explore the joys of Pigeon Forge on a budget with a charming trolley ride!

The Pigeon Forge Trolley: An Overview

The Pigeon Forge trolley system, known officially as the Fun Time Trolley, has a vibrant history deeply intertwined with the town. The trolley system, created in the late 1980s, offers residents and tourists affordable public transportation. It is instrumental in connecting people to the attractions that make Pigeon Forge a beloved vacation destination.

Today, the Fun Time Trolley navigates multiple routes throughout Pigeon Forge and its neighboring towns. The trolleys carry thousands of passengers annually, making it one of the region’s most popular public transport systems.

Times & Routes

The trolley system operates nearly year-round, typically from early March to late December. Depending on the season and specific route, the trolleys run from as early as 8:30 in the morning to as late as midnight, allowing ample time for sightseeing and exploring.

The trolley system covers six primary routes, covering a broad expanse of Pigeon Forge and beyond. The routes include the North and South Parkway, Wears Valley, Dollywood, the Gatlinburg Welcome Center, and Dollywood Splash Country. Whether you’re interested in the buzz of downtown, or the rustic charm of the valley, a trolley route will take you there.

Trolley Fares

Exploring the Town via Trolley

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more budget-friendly option. The trolley offers incredible value for money, starting at just $0.50 per person for a one-way trip. Furthermore, if you are planning to spend a whole day hopping on and off the trolley, there is an all-day pass for a mere $3, allowing unlimited rides on all routes except Gatlinburg.

Navigating Your Trolley Journey

Navigating the trolley routes in Pigeon Forge may seem daunting at first, but with some planning, it is pretty straightforward and enjoyable. Each route has a unique color code, and the trolleys are brightly painted to match their respective routes. This makes it easier to identify which trolley you need to catch. All trolley stops are conveniently marked with Fun Time Trolley stop signs.

Planning your day around the trolley schedule maximizes your experience and minimizes wait times. It’s worth noting that trolleys typically operate every 20 to 30 minutes. Use this information to plan your itinerary to reduce downtime and allow yourself time to explore more attractions.

One popular strategy is to begin your day early and aim for attractions farther from the town center during off-peak hours. Remember that some routes, such as Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country, are seasonal and operate only during specific times of the year. So, check the trolley schedule in advance.

Moreover, the all-day pass is a godsend if you want to explore multiple attractions in a single day. It provides the flexibility to hop on and off as you please, enabling you to spend as much time as you want at each stop without worrying about the fare. With these tips in mind, navigating Pigeon Forge via a trolley should be a breeze.

Top Affordable Attractions in Pigeon Forge Accessible by Trolley

Traveling on the Pigeon Forge trolley isn’t just about getting from point A to B; it’s about experiencing the town’s many attractions. Get started planning your Pigeon Forge excursion with a closer look at several affordable and worthwhile sights conveniently connected to the trolley.

The Old Mill

Situated on the red route, The Old Mill is a landmark of Pigeon Forge’s rich history. Operating since 1830, it’s one of the oldest-running grist mills in the country. Apart from the mill, the plaza also includes a general store, a distillery, and restaurants. If you’re looking to keep your spending to a minimum, you’ll be delighted to hear that most attractions at The Old Mill are free. Although, you may find it hard to resist the bakery’s tempting treats or the shops’ unique souvenirs.

Patriot Park

Also located on the red route, this park is a tribute to military veterans. It features several monuments and a walking trail along the Little Pigeon River. It’s a great place to relax, have a picnic, or take a stroll, and the best part is that it’s completely free.


This famous amusement park, accessible on the seasonal purple route, is a must-visit. Though less affordable than the other attractions, it offers excellent value with tons of rides, shows, and festivals throughout the year. Look for discounts or package deals to transform it into a more budget-friendly option.

The Island in Pigeon Forge

The Island in Pigeon Forge

This shopping and entertainment center is a hub of activity and excitement. For instance, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel with scenic views of the surrounding mountains. While some attractions here have entry fees, wandering around and soaking in the atmosphere won’t cost you a penny.

Budget Tips for Using the Pigeon Forge Trolley

With its extensive routes and affordable fares, the Pigeon Forge trolley service is already a budget traveler’s delight. However, with a few smart tips, you can maximize your savings while exploring the town’s many attractions.

  • Purchase a Day Pass: Instead of paying for each ride, consider buying a day pass for unlimited travel on the trolley. At just $3, the day pass is a steal if you plan to hop on and off at multiple points throughout the day.
  • Plan Your Visit Wisely: Make the most of your day pass, and plan your itinerary. Strategically choose the attractions you want to see and group them by the trolley route they’re on. In this way, you’re saving not only money but also time.
  • Eat Like a Local: One of the perks of riding the trolley is exploring local neighborhoods. This is a perfect opportunity to try out local eateries and diners offering delicious food at lower prices than touristy restaurants.
  • Take Advantage of Free Attractions: The trolley connects to several attractions that are free or ask for donations only, such as The Old Mill and Patriot Park. Exploring these can give you a rich experience without denting your pocket.
  • Be on the Lookout for Discounts: Many attractions offer discounts or special offers for visitors arriving by trolley. Please keep your eyes peeled for these deals, as they can significantly cut down your sightseeing costs.

In Conclusion

The Pigeon Forge trolley offers an exceptional opportunity to experience the best of this vibrant town on a budget. Not only does the trolley provide a reliable and economical mode of transportation, but it also brings the freedom to explore at your own pace. Additionally, the trolley’s quaint charm and convenience make it a must-try attraction. Consider using the trolley as you plan your next visit to Pigeon Forge. Whether you’re a history buff, adventure lover, foodie, or simply looking for a relaxed vacation, the Pigeon Forge trolley fits your budget. Happy exploring!

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