Just let me say......unbelievable! John and I first heard about the fireflies ,at Elkmont, in the Smoky Mountain National Park for the first time 2 years ago. Linda and David Lawson (John's brother and his wife) went to see them last year and told us we really needed to see this phenomena. So, we started making plans. We had so much happening that we almost decided to wait until next year. Partly, because we had some good friends that wanted to go and they couldn't go this year. I am so glad we went. We can go with them and have a better knowledge of the best things to do to enjoy this night.
Hopefully, you can blow up these pictures and read the pamplet. If not, you can go to www.insidegatlinburg.com/things-to-do/the-smoky-mountain-synchronous-fireflies/
You park and wait to go out to Elkmont at The Sugarlands Visitor Center. They only allow as many people to go see the fireflies as can park in the lots. So you have to go early. The shuttles to Elkmont start at 7:00 and we got there and parked at 4:00. I would not go any later. We parked, got out our chairs, read, talked, visited with people from "everywhere", went (well, I did anyway) on a hike, and just enjoyed being in the peacefulness of the mountains. The time really passed by quickly.
The hiking trail behind The Sugarlands Visitor Center
I got a kick out of the "fire hydrant" out in the middle of no where. Do you know how long we waited on a fire hydrant to be close enough to our house in Berry that our insurance would go down!
I love trees and rocks. It is just my thing. I would love to have this rock in my yard at home!
The line, for the shuttle beginning to get long.
This is the line behind us....there was a line in front of us also!
Getting close to the shuttle bus
The spot where we decided to make "our camp". That is John's knee. We did not carry chairs. Not sure if I will next time.....we carried a blanket to sit on. This picture was made with a flash.
Let me say.....I have never witnessed anything like this. It is very hard to describe. It really wasn't what I thought it would be and I think it is because it is so hard to describe. The whole experience was wonderful...that is if you love the outdoors! Everyone needs to see this. I am so glad we got to see it and we will go back!
I tried to get pictures but my 35mm just couldn't do it. Any light will upset the fireflies so you would need a really good camera, on a tripod, so you could open up the camera lens and then I think it would be a blur.
The fireflies really started showing off around 9:30. We watched them for about 45 minutes and then started the walk down the mountain trail to get in line to ride the shuttle back to the parking lot. It took about an hour to get on the shuttle bus, then about 15 minutes to the parking lot. So, this is a all afternoon and night outing. Luckily, there was still places open to eat!