Current Update (5/24/2017): Firefly activity was low last night (Tuesday, May 23). It is likely that we are nearing the end of this year's firefly activity, so if you want to see this phenomenon, it would be advisable to come out to the park sooner rather than later. The fireflies seem to be most active between 9:00pm-10:00pm. Visitors are reminded to adhere to the "Viewing Etiquette" below:
Viewing Etiquette & Important Info
- Please be considerate to other visitors viewing this phenomenon.
- Because of the increased number of visitors, we ask that everyone keep noise levels to a minimum so that everyone can enjoy this special natural occurrence.
- Use red filters on your flashlights. Bright lights can disturb the fireflies’ flash pattern and make it difficult for other people to see.
- Do not use flash photography. The flashing can be difficult to capture on camera/video.
- Parking is limited. Carpool when possible.
- Be prepared for the weather.
- Fireflies are only here for a few short weeks. Please do not capture them in jars or take them with you.
Many children remember catching fireflies in jars when they were young, but not all fireflies are the same. With over 2,000 species found world-wide, there are only three species of synchronous flashing fireflies that can be found in North America. Every year, Congaree National Park hosts synchronous fireflies (Photuris frontalis) for approximately two weeks between mid-May and mid-June. During this time visitors can experience an awe-inspiring display of synchronous flashing while the fireflies search for a mate.The best time to view the fireflies is just after dark, usually between 9:00pm and 10:00pm. The best viewing is along the bluff. The boardwalk is a popular place to view them and they can also be seen along Bluff Trail and in Bluff Campground.
Please note that the exact dates that the fireflies will "synchronize" is not known. This phenomenon could occur earlier in May or later in June. Factors including soil conditions and temperature affect when this natural phenomenon occurs.
This page will be updated with current information (Updated on May 24, 2017)