Six Great Synchronous Firefly Viewing Areas For 2018!

Discover the wonder of synchronous fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains. Photo credit – Romantic Asheville

Six Great Synchronous Firefly Viewing Areas For 2018! A spectacular display by the Synchronous Fireflies and the Blue Ghost Fireflies will light up the sky in the Great Smoky Mountains in late May and early June 2018. The annual event has become so popular that several venues are now available to the public where they can enjoy the amazing show as blinking beetles rise from the ground and surround them in waves of tiny twinkling lights.

The Synchronous Firefly (Photinus carolinus) and the Blue Ghost Firefly (Phausis reticulata) are two species found only in the Southern Appalachian Mountains which include the Great Smokies. And during the short mating season in late May and early June, both firefly species put on a mini firework display choreographed by Mother Nature.

Male Synchronous Fireflies flash little green-yellow bioluminescent lanterns in unison for about 6-8 blinks casting an eerie wave of light throughout the forest before going dark for a few seconds. The male Blue Ghost Fireflies do not blink to attract mates but instead feature blue-white lights that glow continuously just a few inches above the ground creating a surreal carpet of light that is certain to delight and amaze all ages. The National Park scientists use air and soil temperatures to predict the timing of each year’s mating season and the dates will be announced sometime in April 2018. Check with HeySmokies.Com for updates on this popular event.

Synchronous Fireflies with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

One of the best places to view the Synchronous Fireflies is in Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park— a location so popular that a free lottery system was instituted for the $1.50 parking passes during the eight-day shuttle period to Elkmont. Elkmont closes at dusk during this peak viewing period allowing only shuttle ticket holder and Elkmont campers in Elkmont Campground.
Dates for the 2018 Sychronous Firefly event will be announced in April. You may apply for a chance to win a pass April 28 through May 1 by going to www.recreation.gov and search for firefly event lottery. Winners will be notified on May 10.

Synchronous Fireflies with Discover Life in America in Gatlinburg, TN

For a few nights during peak firefly viewing time, Discover Life in America hosts a fundraising event featuring nightly presentations and field walks at the Norton

Don’t “blink” or you may miss it! Photo credit – Firefly Experience

Creek Sanctuary near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tickets for the event are $100 each and the event is geared toward persons ages 10 and older. For reservations for this exclusive event, call Discover Life in America at 865-430-4757 or email todd@dlia.org.

Synchronous Fireflies in Cataloochee with Cataloochee Valley Tours

Take a Synchronous Firefly Night Walk with Cataloochee Valley Tours out of Waynesville, NC. Small groups of guests are outfitted with safety vests and flashlights for a walk to the tour company’s secret viewing locations! Tour tickets are $60 per person. Tours are from 8:30 – 11:30 p.m. weather permitting. For more information, visit Cataloochee Valley Tours.

Blue Ghost Fireflies in DuPont State Recreational Forest near Asheville, NC

DuPont State Forest is located in Cedar Mountain, NC about 30 miles outside of Asheville. Due to the popularity of this location in recent years, some of the trails in the High Falls parking area will be closed during peak viewing season. Visitors are urged to stay on designated trails because female Blue Ghosts stay on the ground and many have been killed by visitors wandering off trail. For more information, visit DuPont State Forest.

Transylvania County Blue Ghosts

The Pisgah Field School offers a firefly hike led by a trained naturalist under the cover of darkness along paved trails at the Cradle of Forestry. You never know what you will find on this hike so call 828-884-3342 to make a reservation or go to Pisgah Field School to learn more about this rain or shine, family friendly event!

Fireflies on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway are a great place to view starry nights as well as the fireflies in June and the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center in Asheville usually offers a family-friendly firefly viewing event. For more information, visit Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center.

Both firefly species are common in other areas of Southern Appalachia and perhaps may make an appearance in your backyard during the month of June. Beginning around 10 p.m. turn off the lights, grab a comfy chair or spread a blanket on the ground, sit back and relax and wait for your own private firefly show to begin.

HeySmokies left the crowds at Elkmont Campground and backpacked a bit further up Little River Trail to enjoy the show! Remember a permit is required for an overnight stay at a backcountry site. Happy Trails!

 

 


Enjoy this great recap of a Great Smoky Mountains Synchronous Firefly night out!

More Hey Smokies Features:

Grainger County Tomato Festival
Grainger County Tomato Festival...
Grainger County Tomato Festival is going to be a delicious way to spend a summer weekend! This Smoky Mountain event was organized in 1992 to pro[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Loop Lope
Cades Cove Loop Lope...
Cades Cove Loop Lope is a Great Smoky Mountain Special Event! The Cades Cove Foot Race (AKA - the Cades Cove Loop Lope) hosted by Friends of t[Read More >>]
Dollywood Season Of Showstoppers
Dollywood Season Of Showstoppers...
Dollywood Season Of Showstoppers in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Stars shine bright in Dollywood during the 2018 Season of Showstoppers. Dollywood’[Read More >>]
Update: Clingmans Dome observation tower closes
Update: Clingmans Dome observation tower closes...
Update: Clingmans Dome observation tower closes. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the Clingmans Dome Observation Tow[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates Cosby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates Cosby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Celebrates Cosby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow! National Park officials announced the “Celebrating Cosby: [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Fourth Of July Celebrations
Smoky Mountain Fourth Of July Celebrations...
Smoky Mountain Fourth Of July Celebrations. Celebrate the Fourth of July in these Smoky Mountain Communities! Gatlinburg, Tennessee Get a jump[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Region Travel Advisories
Smoky Mountain Region Travel Advisories...
Smoky Mountain Region Travel Advisories. Upcoming Single-Lane Closure on Southbound Spur between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Great Smoky Mount[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Storytelling
Cades Cove Storytelling...
Cades Cove Storytelling. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Cherokee Storytelling Series in Cades Cove. Great Smoky Mountains National Park in[Read More >>]
Biltmore Estate Chihuly Glass Exhibit
Biltmore Estate Chihuly Glass Exhibit...
Biltmore Estate Chihuly Glass Exhibit. Chihuly glass creations brighten the day and light up the night during Chihuly at Biltmore. Famed glass [Read More >>]
Synchronous Fireflies Great Smoky Mountains June 2019
Synchronous Fireflies Great Smoky Mountains June 2019...
Synchronous Fireflies Great Smoky Mountains June 2019. It's never to early to start making plans to see the Synchronous Fireflies (and the Blue [Read More >>]
Back Porch Old Time Music Jam
Back Porch Old Time Music Jam...
Back Porch Old Time Music Jam at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. June 16th; July 7th and 21st; August 4th and 18th; and Se[Read More >>]
National Park Hosts  Appalachian Women's Work Event
National Park Hosts Appalachian Women's Work Event...
National Park Hosts Appalachian Women's Work Event. Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Women’s Work Event at the Mountain [Read More >>]
Eight Smoky Mountain Fall Events
Eight Smoky Mountain Fall Events...
Eight Smoky Mountain Fall Events. Fall is a special, beautiful time in the Great Smoky Mountains! The leaves are changing and the air is crisp. [Read More >>]
Stars shine bright in Dollywood during 2018 Season of Showstoppers
Stars shine bright in Dollywood during 2018 Season of Showstoppers...
Stars shine bright in Dollywood during 2018 Season of Showstoppers. Dollywood’s 33rd season kicked off with an amazing array of entertainment e[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Service Day Volunteers Needed
Smoky Mountain Service Day Volunteers Needed...
Smoky Mountain Service Day Volunteers Needed.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are excited to announce the popular “Smokies Servic[Read More >>]
Grandfather Mountain Slates Rhododendron Ramble
Grandfather Mountain Slates Rhododendron Ramble...
Grandfather Mountain Slates Rhododendron Ramble. Grandfather Mountain is set to showcase the iconic plant that ushers summer into the mountain’s[Read More >>]
Dollywoods Aunt Granny's Restaurant Serves Good Eats
Dollywoods Aunt Granny's Restaurant Serves Good Eats...
Dollywoods Aunt Granny's Restaurant Serves Good Eats! Dollywoods Aunt Granny's Restaurant partners with Lodge Manufacturing Company and announce[Read More >>]
20th Annual Sevier County Relay for Life
20th Annual Sevier County Relay for Life...
20th Annual Sevier County Relay for Life slated for Saturday, June 2, 2018. The Annual Sevier County Relay for Life, which celebrates cancer sur[Read More >>]
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower Closes
Clingmans Dome Observation Tower Closes...
Clingmans Dome observation tower closes. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower will [Read More >>]
5 Great Smoky Mountain Fathers Day Ideas!
5 Great Smoky Mountain Fathers Day Ideas!...
5 Great Smoky Mountain Fathers Day Ideas!  Fathers Day in The Great Smoky Mountains is right around the corner on Sunday, June 17, 2018. The Gre[Read More >>]