This Tennessee Park Will Soon Be Filled With Rare Synchronous Fireflies & It's So Magical

It only happens once every year!

Texas Staff Writer
A woman with fireflies around her at Elkmont Campground. Right: The synchronous fireflies at Elkmont Campground.

A woman with fireflies around her at Elkmont Campground. Right: The synchronous fireflies at Elkmont Campground.

Each summer, a super rare event takes place in the Tennessee mountains, where millions of dazzling lightning bugs dance in sync with the most impressive light show.

Visitors can hike the Great Smoky Mountains National Park soon and see the famous synchronous fireflies that will flash and blink their bioluminescent lanterns in a yearly mating display.

It's an exclusive event because the insects will "perform" or mate for only 2-3 weeks every year and in only a few spots around the country, including South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Watching the dark nighttime forest come to life around you by these tiny insects pulsating light in sync is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that people travel all over Tennessee to experience.

The Smoky Mountains' projected synchronous lightning bug dates have yet to be announced, but the National Park Service will reveal them on April 25, 2023.

However, to give you a ballpark idea, last year's viewers flocked to the Elkmont Campgrounds for just one week, from June 3 to June 7, where the bugs put on a stunning show.

After the 2023 dates are announced, there will then be a lottery application for the $24 parking passes where hopefuls can sign up starting from 10 a.m. on April 28 until it's closed at 8 p.m. on May 1.

Winners will then be notified by May 11, when they can choose what date they'd like to watch.

If this sounds like a bucket-list opportunity, be sure to keep an eye out for announcements here!

Synchronous Fireflies at the Great Smoky Mountains 

Price: $24 parking pass

When: Viewing dates announced April 23. Parking pass lottery opens April 28.

Address: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont Campground Rd A, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Why You Need To Go: This rare firefly event only happens once a year and there's a limited amount of tickets available!


Brittany Cristiano
Texas Staff Writer
Brittany Cristiano is a Staff Writer for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on viral TikToks, and trending local characters in the Southern United States. She is based in Houston, Texas.
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