Great Smoky Mountains Synchronous Fireflies Event For 2016
The park service has announced the dates for the annual viewing of the Great Smoky Mountains synchronous fireflies event at Elkmont for June 2016. The dates for this year’s event will be Tuesday, May 31st through Tuesday, June 7th. Due to the popularity of this event and the crowds in past years this year’s access to Elkmont to view the synchronous fireflies was by a lottery. Parking Passes were distributed by a lottery at Recreation.gov in April. If you were lucky enough to get a parking pass through the lottery then the viewer can use the parking pass to gain access up to Elkmont to view the synchronous fireflies event during the week of May 31- June 7, 2016.
Each year in late spring in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Elkmont there is a firefly viewing that attracts thousands of spectators. In late May and early June synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus), a species of fireflies that live in the park provide an interesting show due to their mating pattern. This flash pattern is unique to this type of firefly (also referred to by southerners as lighting bugs). The flashing has a pattern that male and female fireflies of this species recognize and is part of their mating process. It is a fascinating spectacle to watch in the still of the night while under the stars in the Great Smoky Mountains.
The peak time for this annual mating season is in late May to mid June and last for about a 2 weeks. The National Park Service for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park each year has a viewing event at Elkmont Campgrounds. The event is so popular a lottery was held this year for parking passes. More information can be obtained at www.recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777.