Visitors need to plan ahead to see fireflies

The Elkmont synchronous firefly viewing will take place June 6-13 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Every year, thousands of visitors gather near the Elkmont Campground to observe a firefly species that flashes synchronously. The occasion became so popular that in 2005, the park began closing the Elkmont entrance road each evening and operating a mandatory shuttle bus system. Last year, a mandatory reservation system was implemented, which can be accessed online. 

Visitors also must receive a parking pass to leave their car at the Sugarlands Visitor Center before taking the shuttle.

Reservations went on sale in late April but some were held until closer to the event. The cost for the shuttle is $1 and the parking pass is $1.50. or 877.444.6777.

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