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Fireflies are Amazing & Bears are Everywhere!!!

Wish I was in...
posts: 1,429
reviews: 11
Fireflies are Amazing & Bears are Everywhere!!!

We just got back late last night and I wanted to post a quick trip report about the fireflies and bears. The full report with pics will be coming in the next few days.


The synchronized fireflies are amazing!!! Everyone must go see this in their lifetime. Each firefly flashes 5 or 6 times back to back and then stops for a few seconds and starts all over again. There were thousands of them. You really must see this to believe it. We will definitely be going back next year!

We went to Elkmont via the trolley on June 12. We were on the first trolley of the night. When we got to Elkmont, we walked up the trail about a mile and sat on a rock by the river until dark. We searched for salamanders to kill time before dark.

When it started to get dark, we saw a few fireflies flashing in the woods. They started working their way down to the trail as it got darker. It didn't take very long for the show to really get started.

We headed back to the trolley around 10:15pm. The line was VERY long. We had to wait about an hour. Alot of people were complaining. Next time we will probably camp just so we don't have to wait for the trolley. Even if you have to ride the trolley, the fireflies are worth it. I would recommend it to anyone.

*Note*- Be sure an walk down the trail at least a 1/2 mile to a mile to view the fireflies. The deeper you get, the better the show. There was a lady in front of us in the trolley line who said she didn't see much of a show where she was sitting. She stayed near the very beginning of trail. She really missed something great!

About the bears...

I think we may have set a record for bear sightings this trip!!! We saw 32!!! I'm pretty sure that 4 of these were the same bears on a different day, so that would bring our total down to 28, but still, that's a bunch of bears!!!

If you want to see a bear, right now is your chance. We drove the Roaring Fork trail 4 or 5 times and saw several bears each time in different spots with different numbers of cubs. Most of the bears we saw were after 5pm, but we did see some between 11am and 12pm yesterday. There were a few single bears, but most had at least one cub.

We also saw multiple bears on the road to Cades Cove, and inside Cades Cove.

The most unusual bear sighting was a mama and 3 cubs up in a tree in the Sidney James Motel parking lot in downtown Gatlinburg.

We saw big bears, little bears, big cubs, and tiny cubs...it was great!!! I still can't believe that we were so lucky!!! And the best thing is, I've got pictures of each and everyone of them!

I will be posting all of our pics and my trip report in the next few days. We also have video of the fireflies but I haven't watched it yet to see how it turned out. Hopefully it worked so I can show everyone how amazing it really is!!!

posts: 5,537
reviews: 48
1. Re: Fireflies are Amazing & Bears are Everywhere!!!

Glad you had a good visit! I've been dying to see the fireflies, so I'll be interested to see your video.

new jersey
posts: 5
2. Re: Fireflies are Amazing & Bears are Everywhere!!!

I was on the same trolley as you were. And you were right about going as far in as you can. I thought I was in far enough but the show wasn't as good as advertised. But there was also a cold front that night so maybe that was also to blame. And bot do you want to avoid that trolley at all costs. 2 hour wait on the way back. Wow they should do something about that next year.

But even the little light show that we saw was pretty cool to say the least. And I also think it was a nice time even with the long wait!

Upper Sandusky, Ohio
posts: 46
reviews: 1
3. Re: Fireflies are Amazing & Bears are Everywhere!!!

How late in July will the fireflies be out like that? We're going on the 19th.

posts: 5,537
reviews: 48
4. Re: Fireflies are Amazing & Bears are Everywhere!!!

The peak flashing period is from June 8-16. I think you might be a bit late for that.

5. Re: Fireflies are Amazing & Bears are Everywhere!!!

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