Synchronous Fireflies in Elkmont June 5-13th!

What are synchronous fireflies and why in the world would you want to make a trip to see them?  They are a rare breed of firefly that flash in unison as part of their mating ritual.  This particular species can only be found in two places in the world, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Southeast Asia.  The fireflies, a type of beetle, also known as “lightning bugs”, will only live as adults for about 21 days, so their mating season is short.  Typically, around the second week of June is when this phenomonen starts to occur.  It is truly a sight to behold.

Relatively unknown until around 1994, these little fireflies have become quite an attraction.  The viewing area is located in Elkmont near the campground.  However, if you are not camping at Elkmont, you will need to park at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and ride the trolley to and from the viewing area.  Between 5pm and midnight June 5th-13th, no cars or pedestrian traffic will be allowed in the Elkmont area unless you are camping there.  The trolley ride is $1 with trolleys beginning to run at 7pm and the last one returning at 11pm.  Trolleys will run to the viewing area until the parking area is full or 9pm, whichever comes first.  Typically, the fireflies really start to become visible around 9:30pm.

For more information on this year’s Firefly Festival and recommendations on what to bring with you, click here.  We hope to see you there!

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