Fireflies – Early Season Spectacles – Schedule


Please time your arrival to be at the Museum at 4:45 pm sharp so we can start our evening program on time. If we get a late start we will miss the dusk-glowing firefly species.

3:30 -4:30 pm Check into Lodges. If you are lodging at the Sanctuary, you can also check into your room from 3:30 pm onward. If you come earlier in the day, we encourage you to pick up a day pass from the Museum and enjoy the hiking trails of the Highlands Nature Sanctuary.

4:45 p.m. Gather at the Appalachian Forest Museum.

5:00 p.m.  Welcome and Introductions.  Meet your leaders and colleagues.

6:00 p.m.  Dinner at Appalachian Forest Museum

7:00 p.m. The Wondrous World of Fireflies – An Introduction. An immersion into the magical, mystical and scientific realm of fireflies. The natural history is even stranger than fiction, and there are considerably more species in Ohio than you ever likely imagined. Step into their glowing world. Power point presentation by Nancy Stranahan followed by:

Fort Hill Light Show. We will take a short drive (10.8 miles/20 minutes) to Fort Hill, a landscape that combines open fields, wooded creek side habitats, and majestic old growth hardwoods…areas filled with fireflies. You will begin to learn how to distinguish one species from another by their singular light pulses, both those that glow at dusk, and species that glow throughout the night. Learn how some fireflies prey on others by deceptively mimicking the encouraging pulse of a female firefly. And beyond the science, be mesmerized by the enchanting light show.

Please retire as early as you can afterward, and sleep in. Saturday’s course will go late into the night.



Breakfast and Lunch is on your own. All of our lodges have kitchens for your use, or you can dine in the local area. We will give you some recommendations during the Friday orientation.

6:00 p.m.  Dinner at Appalachian Forest Museum

After dinner we will be heading to our firefly viewing destinations and will be encouraging registrants to share cars in order to have a smaller caravan and require less parking space. We will be heading into remote Adams County, requiring approximately one hour and twenty minutes of driving.

9:00 – 10:30 midnight.  Firefly Viewing – the Common, Rare and the Unusual.  We assure you the spectacle will be worth the drive. You will see showcases that few Ohio citizens have ever laid eyes on, Christmas Lights, Mr. Macs, and the Synchronous Fireflies. We should return to the Sanctuary by 11:30 to midnight. Please pace yourself – the return drive will require approximately one and a half hours. You will surely appreciate your vehicle’s good company and conversation on the way home.



Sunday’s meals are on your own.

11 am Check out. If you are staying in one of the Sanctuary’s lodges, check-out time is 11 am. However, once you are out of your lodge, you are free to linger through the day and enjoy the Sanctuary’s fine nature trails.

Phengodes Female Adult, Photo By David & Laura Hughes
Pyractomena marginalis Adult, Photo by John Howard
Photuris lucicrescens Adult, Photo by John Howard