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Firefly Tour with Nighttime Hike – Late May and early June

Firefly Tours are a fleeting few weeks of blue ghost fireflies or synchronous fireflies (sometimes both) and other nightlife!

Quick Details

Tour time: 8:15 pm to 11:30 pm

Best viewing: Since we offer only 11 tours this year, firefly viewings should be similar each night, with a better chance of seeing blue ghost fireflies than synchronous fireflies this year (due to the phases of the moon).

Meeting location:  Our Firefly Tour location is NOT in Dupont State Forest. We meet approximately 45 to 50 minutes southwest of Asheville, NC, exact meeting location provided in your confirmation e-mail after booking tickets. There is NO CELL RECEPTION where we meet, so be sure to record the directions carefully! No shows will not be refunded.

Transportation: Transportation from our meeting place to our secret firefly location is included. Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak, we do not require guests to drive together as a group. Nonetheless, we are happy to drive guests (in our 12-passenger van or 5-passenger vehicle) for 12 minutes to our hiking location.

Restrooms: Restrooms are available at our meeting location.

Ages: 14+ years old age requirement. We are not permitted to take younger kids on this tour due to safety issues.

Note to out of town guests: We strongly discourage planning an Asheville vacation around a firefly tour, since approximately 1/5 of our tours must be cancelled due to rain! See further notes, including our refund policy, below.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate hike 1.5 miles long with numerous stumps, roots and stairs we carefully navigate at night. We can not accommodate guests with injuries or health issues for this remote, nighttime tour. A moderate level of fitness is required.

Should I bring a chair? No, please do not bring a chair. We do not sit in chairs for this tour, but we do sit on a wooden platform to enjoy the sounds of nightlife for about 15 minutes.

What to wear: Please do not wear sandals, permeable shoes or white shoes. The trail often has mud and mud puddles difficult to see at night. Dress for a true hike deep into the forest. Pants and close-toed shoes required for safety! Jacket and raincoat recommended.

What’s provided: Flashlights, water, cider, and snacks

Cameras: Photography is not allowed on these tours, unfortunately. Any small light or flash disturbs the fireflies.

Person (Ages 14+)

Discover the uniqueness of Appalachia’s fireflies!

20% of our ticket sales goes back to managing and protecting our forests, via our Pisgah National Forest permits and a Max Patch level membership with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy!

Your tour ticket includes a guided nighttime hike, cider and stories, and optional transportation to our “secret firefly spot.” Your guide, an experienced naturalist, shares the history and ecology of Appalachia at night, including facts about spring peepers, bullfrogs, beavers, and of course the synchronous and blue ghost fireflies!

The blue ghost fireflies are more likely to be seen in May, and the synchronous fireflies are more likely to be seen in early June. Since the full moon diminishes firefly viewings and occurs during this year’s firefly season, we are guiding only 11 tours this year!

The trail is 1.5 miles long round trip that requires at least 1.5 hours of hiking, since navigating the trail at night requires additional time. There is almost always mud on this trail, and plenty of roots and stumps to trip on, so we require closed toed shoes and pants for your safety. In order to protect the fireflies, we provide dim red flashlights. We cherish periods of complete darkness in the forest to better appreciate the fireflies.

We strongly discourage planning an Asheville vacation around a Firefly Tour! The chance to see either blue ghost or synchronous fireflies is weather dependent and variable. In fact, scientists are still trying to understand when fireflies emerge at their best! Unfortunately, if a tour date occurs during rain OR within a few days after heavy rains, the tour will be canceled and cannot be rescheduled but FULLY refunded! If rain is in the forecast, we usually decide if a tour will occur on the day of the tour, since mountain weather is so unpredictable! Approximately 1/5 of all tours end up being canceled. If your tour is canceled, you will be fully refunded. We guarantee firefly viewings. If either blue ghost or synchronous fireflies are not seen on your tour, you will be fully refunded.

Tickets went on sale mid-February 2020! (In case you missed the chance to purchase a ticket this year, sign up HERE to be notified when 2021 tickets go on sale!)

By permit, we must keep our firefly tour location secret. For additional information about opportunities to see the fireflies, with locations, please visit here.