Total eclipse at the park-hero

Total Eclipse in the Park 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total eclipse of the sun will sweep across the United States from approximately noon until 3:00 PM (Central Time). This is the first total solar eclipse to affect the continental U.S. since 1979, and 20 of Tennessee's state parks fall in the "path of totality." Join us for "Total Eclipse in the Park" celebrations the weekend prior and stick around for viewing celebrations on August 21. 


What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon lines up perfectly in front of the sun. This creates a silhouette effect that covers the sun from view and casts the moon's shadow on the earth. Over the course of several hours on Monday, August 21, the moon and sun will slowly pass one another, with the moon covering more and more of the sun until it climaxes with a total eclipse. 

What is the "path of totality"?

The "path of totality" is the section of the earth where the moon will completely block the view of the sun for a short period of time. The two red lines on the map below represent the boundaries of the path. Everywhere located in between the two red lines will experience total darkness and the iconic "halo effect" around the silhouette of the moon for a period of time at the climax of the eclipse. In addition to the visual spectacle of the eclipse, those standing in the path of totality will notice some phenomenal natural responses. Stars and planets will be visible, animals will quiet down, birds will return to their roosts, and the temperature will drop by 12 degrees or more. 

What will you see if you are not in the path of totality?

Those who do not make it into the path of totality will not experience the full natural and celestial spectacle mentioned above. However, the partial eclipse will be visible everywhere in the United States.

What equipment do you need to view the eclipse?

It is very important that viewers use special eclipse sunglasses to view the eclipsing sun. Only during the total eclipse, when no part of the sun is visible, can viewers remove the glasses. Failure to use special eclipse sunglasses during the eclipse can result in serious eye damage. 

 

Planning a Trip to a Tennessee State Park

 

Why should you view the eclipse in a Tennessee State Park?

The total eclipse is only one aspect of a weekend full of activities that will stretch your mind and your legs. It's not just about seeing the eclipse. This is a chance for children and adults to learn about space and the outdoors. It's a chance to experience one of the rarest celestial phenomenons in your lifetime in some of the prettiest destinations in the South.

Some of our parks will provide visitors a view of the eclipse from the heart of Nashville, the only major city to experience the total eclipse. Other parks will provide a chance to view the spectacle without the light pollution from major cities. These parks are perfect destinations for photographers. Fly into Nashville and then head out to parks like Edgar Evins or Fall Creek Falls.

Park staff are working to create an exciting list of activities, tours, educational classes, hikes and other events to celebrate. Click the button below to see an up-to-date list of scheduled eclispe events at our parks:

Event List

Visitors are encouraged to reserve cabins, campgrounds, and inn rooms before they are booked full. There is a three-night minimum for cabins and campsites. There is a two night minimum for inn rooms. Special rates will apply for the eclipse weekend. 

Which parks will be good for viewing the total eclipse?

The following parks fall in or near the path of totality and are great locations to view the solar eclipse:

  • Bicentennial Capitol Mall - Duration of Totality: 1 min 55 secs
    For more information about the park, click here.
  • Bledsoe Creek Duration of Totality: 2 mins 39 secs
    For more information about the park and camping, click here.
  • Burgess FallsDuration of Totality: 2 mins 37 secs
    For more information about the park, click here.
  • Cedars of Lebanon - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 19 secs
    For more information about the park, cabins and camping, click here.
  • Cumberland Mountain - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 34 secs
    For more information about the park, cabins, camping, and restaurant, click here.
  • Cummins Falls - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 37 secs 
    For more information about the park, click here.
  • Dunbar Cave - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 25 secs
    For more information about the park, click here.
  • Edgar EvinsDuration of Totality: 2 mins 38 secs
    For more information about the park, cabins and camping, click here.
  • Fall Creek FallsDuration of Totality: 2 mins 24 secs
    For more information about the park, inn, cabins, camping, and restaurant, click here.
  • Fort LoudounDuration of Totality: 2 mins 29 secs
    For more information about the park, click here.
  • Frozen HeadDuration of Totality: 34 secs
    For more information about the park and camping, click here.
  • Henry HortonDuration of Totality: 24 secs (a short drive outside of park)
    For more information about the park, inn, cabins, camping, and restaurant, click here.
  • Hiwassee-Ocoee Duration of Totality: 2 mins 10 secs
    For more information about the park and camping, click here.
  • Long Hunter - Duration of Totality: 2 mins 4 secs
    For more information about the park and camping, click here.
  • Montgomery BellDuration of Totality: 9 secs (a short drive outside of park)
    For more information about the park, inn, cabins, camping, and restaurant,  click here.
  • Paris LandingDuration of Totality: 14 secs (at a site minutes outside of park)
    For more information about the park, inn, cabins, camping, and restaurant, click here.
  • Port RoyalDuration of Totality: 2 mins 32 secs
    For more information about the park, click here.
  • Radnor LakeDuration of Totality: 1 min 15 secs
    For more information about the park, click here.
  • Rock IslandDuration of Totality: 2 mins 24 secs
    For more information about the park, cabins and camping, click here.
  • Standing StoneDuration of Totality: 1 min 23 secs
    For more information about the park, cabins and camping, click here.

*Duration of Totality based on NASA estimates. CLICK HERE to view NASA's map.

Eclipse Resources