Synchronous Fireflies - Elkmont, GSMNP

Synchronous Fireflies – Elkmont, GSMNP

In late Spring, in certain places in the mountains in Western North Carolina and Tennessee, a phenomenon occurs that captures the attention and awe of thousands of people from all over the country. Synchronous Fireflies take flight and give light, in an incredible display of synchronicity that is not seen in too many locations around the world. One such place that hosts a “party” unlike any other, is in the Elkmont Campground area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on the Tennessee side of the mountains.

Long exposure photography captures the magical scene of the fireflies

Long exposure photography captures the magical scene of the fireflies

Each year, the National Park Service, in cooperation with regional experts, try to accurately pin point the peak time that the fireflies will be lighting up the dark in a light display that makes people of all ages, sit in awe. The 2016 Firefly Event in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is rolling out a little differently than in years past. What used to be a scheduled release, set amount, of parking passes on the last day in April, has now gone to a lottery system, much like that of the lottery to participate in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. To be entered into the lottery, you must go to the website here: 2016 FIREFLY EVENT, TN and register for the event. Once you’ve completed the registration, you’re entered into the lottery system. You’re able to choose two dates to attend, and if you’re chosen for one, you will be notified via email on May 10th.

There are many requirements and guidelines to attend the Elkmont Event. If chosen, you need to read all the details for a successful event.

There are many requirements and guidelines to attend the Elkmont Event. If chosen, you need to read all the details for a successful event.

The Synchronous Fireflies light up in a pattern that makes you feel like your Luke Skywalker or Han Solo, pushing your x-wing fighter or millennium falcon to warp speed and instead of stars and planets passing you at the speed of light, it’s the synchronous fireflies, attempting to attract a mate for their breeding season. Full details about the FIREFLY EVENT, can be found on the Recreation.gov website, and just a simple search for the event will yield great results. Otherwise, you can still make that short drive over to the Elkmont region just to explore the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains, the history and the heritage. You may even learn a few scientific fact to impress your friends and family!

We’ll see you next time around here on Snapshots From Franklin, NC!

Story, text and images, by

Eric Haggart – Timeless Moments Imaging