Synchronized fireflies display in full swing at Congaree National Park

Photo obtained from Congaree National Park Facebook page.

The Congaree National Park plays host to thousands of fireflies annually between mid-May to mid-June. The “guests” have now arrived and are fully active.

Tuesday evening, park visitors were treated to another beautiful evening of synchronous fireflies. They remained active all evening and were still well-synchronized, according to park officials.

There are only three species of synchronous flashing fireflies that can be found in North America, out of 2,000 species. The insects hang around the park for approximately two weeks, while searching for a mate. During this time, visitors can witness a beautiful natural occurrence of synchronized flashing.

The Harry Hampton Visitor Center will be open until 10 p.m. nightly through May 27. There is a designated fireflies trail, which gives access to prime viewing areas. This one-way trail begins at the picnic shelter, goes under the elevated boardwalk and ends at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. According to a park notice, the elevated section of the boardwalk will only be open to those with mobility issues during evening hours, due to the large number of participants.

The following are prohibited from the fireflies trail:
-dogs
-strollers
-wagons
-headlamps
-using smartphones as flashlights
-chairs, hammocks or blankets
-flash photography
-smoking/vaping
-applying insect repellant (please apply prior to arriving at the park)

The COMET public transit system will transport visitors to the Congaree National Park Friday through Sunday.  Buses will start at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1200 Rosewood Drive, Columbia direct to the Congaree National Park Harry Hampton Visitor Center.   Multiple buses will shuttle from the fairgrounds and Congaree National Park every 30 minutes starting at 7 p.m.  The last bus will depart the fairgrounds at 9 p.m. and the last bus will depart the Harry Hampton Visitor Center at 10:35 p.m. Park representatives said parking at the visitor’s center is quite limited.

More information about the fireflies display can be found HERE.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Columbia, Hopkins, Richland County

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