What says summer to you? To me, it’s the experiences that delight my senses and remind me of my childhood when I played in the back yard at dusk: bare feet, the smell of honeysuckle, and chasing fireflies.
Oh, the fireflies. If you’re not from around here, I’m going to give you a tip. If you haven’t planned on things to do this summer yet, a great time to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) is late May until the middle of June. Specifically, you’ll want to plan your trip for when you can see the Synchronous Fireflies. It’s an incredible phenomenon that only happens in a handful of places around the world. GSMNP is the best-known spot to catch it!
*Disclaimer- I’m a Tennessee girl through and through. I call them lightning bugs, but because the National Park Service calls them fireflies, that’s how I’ll refer to them in this blog. Check out this map that diagrams the regional breakdown of firefly vs. lightning bug.
I’m telling you all this because the park service just announced dates for the application period for Synchronous Firefly viewing. It’s become such a popular thing to see, you have to get in a lottery if you want a seat for the show! It’s a coveted ticket and tough to come by because who isn’t enchanted by an evening of watching fireflies dance?
If you aren’t able to work it out, I have another suggestion for you—visit Wildwood Grove! Wildwood Grove is our new land that is sure to bring out your inner child (and perhaps memories of you chasing fireflies). Your imagination can run wild with fun at every turn. The lighting you’ll notice is inspired by fireflies. In fact, the concept for all of Wildwood Grove is to echo natural elements found in the Smoky Mountains.
Standing nearly five stories tall in the heart of the land is The Wildwood Tree, an extraordinary gathering point unlike anything you’ve experienced before! The tree’s massive green canopy features more than 7500 glistening leaves adorned with hundreds of illuminated butterflies that dance playfully in the breeze. But, as the sun sinks in the sky, Wildwood Grove glows warmly as lanterns and lights glimmer like cheerful fireflies, inviting families to play late into the night.
Plan to spend a warm summer night in Wildwood Grove make new memories that will delight your senses for years to come!