Great Smoky Mountains Fireflies Will Soon Put on the Most Amazing Light Show
Something truly special — and sparkling — is coming to Great Smoky National Parks this month.
The Photinus carolinus, also known as Elkmont fireflies are synchronous fireflies (meaning they flash in unison) that dwell in Great Smoky Mountains Naional Park. Each year, typically in the spring, the fireflies' reproductive display happens throughout the Southern Appalachians, putting on quite the show.
For a chance to witness the incredible sight, the National Park Service offers a special lottery for the event — which runs from May 30th to June 6th in 2019 — with a shuttle service from the Sugarlands Visitor Center to the viewing area. While the lottery has now been closed for 2019, local guides like Cataloochee Valley Tours and Asheville Hiking Tours offer their own guided excursions to see the Elkmont fireflies, too.
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If you're setting out on an evening hike to catch this dazzling display, be sure to bring red or blue cellophane along to cover your flashlight so you don't impair anyone else's viewing experience. Learn more about the fireflies and light show etiquette here.
Missed the lottery and not lacing up your hiking boots for 2019? We don't know about you, but you can bet your blinking bottom dollar we'll be staying tuned for announcements for next year so we don't miss this phenomenal event.