One of the coolest natural phenomenon in the area is re-opening to the public this June as the National Park Service welcomes limited amount of guests back for nightly viewing of the synchronous fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains. To get your chance to see this incredible natural display, head over to recreation.gov and enter their lottery for nightly passes. 100 passes will be issued per night and winners will be notified on May 7th.
“I’m pleased that we’re able to once again offer an opportunity for visitors to experience synchronous fireflies at Elkmont in a safe manner,” Superintendent Cassius Cash said in a statement.
“Last year, we canceled the viewing opportunity due to concerns about using shuttle operations during the pandemic. Our staff worked hard to develop a new operational plan that allows limited parking for passenger vehicles directly at the site for 2021.”
About these unique fireflies
Synchronous fireflies ( Photinus carolinus ) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and one of only a few species in the world known to synchronize their flash patterns. This insects’ reproductive display occurs for a couple of weeks every year throughout its range (southern Appalachians), and is typically in late May or early June in the Elkmont area of the park. Synchronous fireflies occur throughout the southern Appalachian region, and large populations of synchronous fireflies occurs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Learn more here.