Bright Lights, Big City: Where to Find Fireflies Near Atlanta


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It’s July, which means your kids are probably staying up well past their average bedtimes because, really, who wants to go to bed when it’s still daylight outside? If you’re looking for the perfect way to knock out that end-of-day energy burst, then catching fireflies is your beacon to bedtime bliss. From wooded paths to tall grass, along with ponds and in bushes, fireflies are lighting the way to some serious summertime memories. Here’s where to look for these little bioluminescent beetles in Atlanta.

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Piedmont Park

Since fireflies rely on their blinking lights to communicate with one another, areas with lots of light pollution have far fewer insects because they can’t as easily make plans with one another. But, thanks to Piedmont Park’s 189 acres, it’s a haven in the hullabaloo of our modern city. Whether you look for them in the Northwoods across from the Atlanta Botanical Garden, or stay late at one of the park’s two playgrounds, you’ve got a very good chance at seeing some lighting bugs lighting up.

10th & Piedmont Ave.

Murphey Candler Park

This 135-acre multi-use park is the largest park in the City of Brookhaven, but thanks to its miles of nature trails and preserved wetlands, it’s a great spot to see the lightning bugs come out at night. You don’t have to veer too far off the path (or away from the parking lot, for that matter) to witness the twinkling lights of your favorite luminary insects. For your best show, steer clear of the sports fields and head towards the wooded area and trails near the lake. Lightning bugs don’t like the chemicals that are used to make each multi-use field so green and weed-free.

1551 W Nancy Creek Dr.


Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is a 2,965 acre National Battlefield that preserves a Civil War battleground of the Atlanta Campaign. You’ll find fields with taller grass that are perfect for lightning bugs to levitate from, and the wooded trails that circle the mountain are crawling with the critters.

900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr.

Allatoona Creek Park

Among Allatoona Creek Park’s 1450 acres are large open fields, forest, and the shores of Lake Allatoona. Two creeks (Little Allatoona and Big Allatoona) merge as you near the lake, and the land is managed to accommodate all species of wildlife with archery hunting for deer allowed during the season. The park is open for public use except during hunting season, and among these acres, you can find an impressive showing of fireflies.

5690 Old Stilesboro Rd.

Fort Mountain State Park

Near the Cohutta Wilderness, this Georgia state park is a mecca for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders who come for the trails that wind through hardwood forest and blueberry thickets, crossing streams, and circling a pretty lake. There’s even a mysterious 855-foot-long wall that’s thought to have been built by early Indians as fortification against more hostile Indians or for ancient ceremonies. But the wall isn’t the only ethereal thing about this park. The rare blue-ghost fireflies unique to the Appalachian mountain range can be found early in firefly season, but visitors should look and not catch these unique bugs.

181 Fort Mountain Park Rd.

Featured photo via iStock.

—Shelley Massey



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