Besides Leaf Peeping in the fall, the most popular event that takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains nation park each spring occurs when the synchronized fireflies in Elkmont draw about 1,000 spectators each night to which their miraculous matting light show.
More than a dozen species of lightning bugs inhabit the Great Smoky Mountains national park (GSMNP), but everyone is here to see just one of them the famous Photinus carolinus the Synchronous Firefly of the Smokies.
What makes the Synchronous Firefly of the Smokies so special as to attract so many people to the GSMNP is the unusual pattern of flashing which appears to be synchronized which is even more spectacular in certain parts of the park that have high concentrations of fireflies as well as no light pollution so they appear to be brighter and not effected by man made light as well.
Lots of people in the dark wandering around means that only a select few places are safe and particle to put everyone so the national park has been running special firefly shuttle trolleys as a ticketed event to Elkmont which is the safest and most practical area.
Since the fireflies emerge and use their synchronous flashing in order to mate is dependent upon weather, the prediction of the best time to see the fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountain national park a month or more in advance is part science and part educated guess. Most years the GSMNP firefly event is predicted very accurately.
The 2014 firefly season is predicted to peak between June 4th to June 11th in Elkmont where the firefly event take place and tickets will start going on sale at 10 am Wednesday April 30th and are expected to sell out very quickly. Additional tickets (85) will be released for sale online each day of the event as well. These generally sell out quickly as well.
Tickets for parking at $1.50 each and rides on the trolley cost $1 per person. None of the ticket and parking pass revenue ends up in the park as it is used to cover the cost of the reservation system.
Related Smokies Fireflies News Stories
- 2015 Firefly Viewing Dates in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
- 2014 Firefly Viewing Dates in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
- Where and When to see Synchronous Fireflies in the Smokies in 2013
- Synchronous Fireflies Emerge Too Early for Visitors In The Great Smoky Mountains national park
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- Synchronized Fireflies in Great Smoky Mountains national parks Elkmont a huge disappointment