Smokies to use lottery for synchronous firefly parking - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Smokies to use lottery for synchronous firefly parking

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Visitors carrying red-filtered flashlights walk the Little River Trail to observe synchronous fireflies at Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL) Visitors carrying red-filtered flashlights walk the Little River Trail to observe synchronous fireflies at Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

GATLINBURG, TN (AP) - Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors hoping to see the synchronous fireflies this summer will need to enter a lottery for the limited parking spots.

During the eight-day peak viewing period, access to the Elkmont area is limited to visitors who park at the Sugarlands Visitors Center and take a shuttle to the viewing area. The shuttle system is meant to reduce congestion, provide safe viewing for visitors and limit disturbance to the fireflies during their mating period.

According to the park, the lottery for 1,800 available parking passes opens at noon on April 29 and runs until May 2 at 8 p.m. Results will be announced May 10.

Lottery winners will pay a $1.50 reservation fee.

More information can be found at www.recreation.gov by searching for "firefly event."

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