Once a year for a short duration, blue ghost fireflies hover the forest floor with a lingering bluish glow. Seek alongside naturalists on paved trails as to why this small firefly has been the focus of generations worth of folklore and myths.
Tours will run Tuesday evenings through Saturday evenings, May 14th through June 1st. Each night is limited to 150 participants. Security personnel will be on site.
**If weather forces us to cancel any date, we will let participants know no later than 6:00pm the day of the tour. All participants will be offered a full refund.**
7:30pm Gates open
8:30pm Please arrive for check-in. If registering with a honored pass, it must be presented upon check-in.
8:45pm Begin with an educational experience in our outdoor amphitheater, focusing on the magic of firefly natural history and where to look for blue ghosts.
9:30pm Begin walk on the paved Forest Festival Trail. The variety of habitats along this trail highlight a variety of firefly species, including the blue ghosts.
10:30pm Gates to the Cradle of Forestry close. All participants need to exit the facility.
What to Bring:
- Shoes appropriate for hiking one mile on our paved trail
- Headlamp or flashlight (please only turn on when necessary)
Regular Admissions, Ages 13 and older: $20
Youth Admissions, Ages 4-12: $10
America the Beautiful Passport Holders:$10
(Pass must be presented upon arrivals)
Friends of the Cradle Passholders, Adult: $10
(Pass must be presented upon arrival)
Friends of the Cradle Passholders- Youth Ages 4-12: $5
(Pass must be presented upon check-in)
The fame of blue ghost fireflies in western North Carolina has increasingly threatened their natural habitat. Thousands of people annually trek off the trails in May and June to find the wooded niche where these small beetles can be found. The result is damage to the layer of leaf litter where adult female blue ghosts live. Leaf litter is also important to the larvae of several species of fireflies throughout the year. As more people leave the trails in search of fireflies, more of these habitats are negatively impacted.
The Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site is offering this tour on a paved trail along habitat in which blue ghost and several other species of fireflies are regularly sighted. During the evening you will learn about how you can encourage firefly habitat in your backyard.