Synchronous fireflies are magical

Synchronous Fireflies put on a stunning show in the Great Smoky Mountains. (nps)

Synchronous fireflies happenings are at the top of our Bucket List “Follow the Fireflies” RV trip.

Fireflies (

We were each born in prime lightning bug territory — Jimmy in the Allegheny River country of southwest Pennsylvania; and I spent my first dozen years in the Kanawha River Valley in the hills of West Virginia.

Our childhoods’ stomping grounds sit at the humid intersections of lush woodlands and powerful waterways. We both carry many fond memories of catching fireflies on hot, muggy summer nights.

Synchronous fireflies journey

Synchronous fireflies in Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. (

As for magical synchronous fireflies sightings, there are less than a handful in the United States – the three main locations are in Tennessee,  South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

In these very specific habitats, the ‘Photinus carolinus’ firefly species is responsible for putting on the awe-inspiring display of synchronous flashing while searching for a mate.

Our dream “Follow the Fireflies” journey will catch up with these dancing lights in Congaree National Park in South Carolina. Then we would make our way to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. After that we’d head north up the Appalachian Mountains to the Allegheny National Forest in eastern Pennsylvania.

For more information on these incredible “must see” fireflies flashing displays go to a longer article I posted on RV Short Stops.

Julianne G. Crane

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  • I grew up in CA only reading about fireflies. Fast forward to 1999 and I am jogging in the subburbs of Detroit (Southfield) near dusk, and I start seeing these flashes in the corner of my eyes. Thought I was having flashbacks or something. Took about another 5 minutes before I realized what they were. Pretty awesome, indeed.

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