15 Best U.S. Parks To See the Solar Eclipse

Experience the awe-inspiring dance of sun and moon in America's natural wonders.
Updated April 11, 2024
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People look at the solar eclipse

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On April 8, a total solar eclipse will pass through several South, Midwest, and Northeast states. 

If you’re an eclipse enthusiast (and have your protective eye gear ready), you may want to consider heading to a top viewing location for the event.

Here are 15 U.S. parks that will allow you to step up your travel game as they offer great views of this year’s eclipse.

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Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas)

Zack Frank/Adobe hot springs national park

Hot Springs National Park is in the path of totality for the eclipse (for the first time in more than a century). This means viewers will be able to see the moon completely obscure the sun for a few minutes.

At the park, the partial phase of the eclipse will be visible from 12:30 p.m. to 3:10 p.m., and totality is expected from 1:49 p.m. to 1:53 p.m.

Beall Woods State Park (Illinois)

EJRodriquez/Adobe canyon walls through the trees

Beall Woods State Park, in Southeastern Illinois, is one of dozens of parks throughout the state that will offer excellent views (it’s also in the path of totality).

The partial eclipse will be visible from 12:46 p.m. to 3:20 p.m., with peak viewing time beginning at 2:04 p.m.

Shawnee National Forest (Illinois)

Richard & Susan Day/Danita Delimont/Adobe burden falls shawnee

The total solar eclipse will also be visible from many parts of Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. The forest will have multiple spaces available where viewers can gather.

The path of totality will enter Shawnee just after 1:58 p.m. and leave the state by 2:07 p.m., with the partial eclipse lasting a few hours before and after.

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Brown County State Park (Indiana)

Patrick Jennings/Adobe sunrise at brown co. state park

The partial eclipse will be visible at Brown County State Park, Indiana’s largest park, at around 1:51 p.m. The park will be in the path of totality for nearly four minutes just after 3 p.m.

There’s plenty to do around the 16,000-acre park — and those hoping to catch the eclipse from the area should make arrangements as soon as possible.

Aroostook State Park (Maine)

styxclick/Adobe cadillac mountain at acadia

One of the best places to catch this year’s total eclipse in Maine is in Presque Isle, the largest city in Aroostook County and home to Aroostook State Park. The city has several eclipse-related activities planned.

The partial eclipse should begin around 2:30 p.m., with a peak around 3:33 p.m.

Lake Wappapello State Park (Missouri)

Larry/Adobe curve in a country road

Located in Williamsville, Missouri, Lake Wappapello State Park will be in the eclipse’s path of totality for about four minutes.

The partial eclipse will be visible from 12:40 p.m. to around 3:16 p.m., with totality beginning at around 1:56. Lodging is available at the park as well.

Niagara Falls National Park (New York)

elena_suvorova/Adobe niagara falls

Niagara Falls National Park is one of many excellent choices for viewing this year’s eclipse in New York State.

The partial eclipse is expected to be visible from 2:04 p.m. to around 4:30 p.m., with totality beginning at around 3:18 p.m. Turnout is expected to be huge, so those hoping to catch this historic event may want to arrive early.

Seneca Lake State Park (New York)

Brian/Adobe seneca lake finger lakes

Those in the Finger Lakes region of New York will also get great views of the total eclipse — and lakefront locations that offer broad, clear views of the sky may be the best bet.

Seneca Lake State Park is a top location to consider. The partial eclipse will be visible from 2:07 p.m. to 4:33 p.m., peaking around 3:20 p.m.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)

SixthCity/Adobe cuyahoga valley national park

Back in the Midwest, another top spot to view the total eclipse, not far from Cleveland and Akron, is Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The park is expected to be packed as the partial eclipse begins in the early afternoon and peaks around 3:13 p.m. Eclipse enthusiasts are encouraged to arrive early.

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Beavers Bend State Park (Oklahoma)

Russell Stitt/Wirestock Creators/Adobe water flowing in the mountain

Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma lies on the path of totality as well, and hopefully, visitors should make accommodations as soon as possible.

The park will experience a total eclipse for more than four minutes. The partial eclipse is expected to begin at 12:18 p.m., with the peak around 1:45 p.m.

Erie Bluffs State Park (Pennsylvania)

Faina Gurevich/Adobe erie bluffs state park

Four parks, including Erie Bluffs State Park, lie within the eclipse’s path of totality in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The eclipse will begin around 2 p.m., and the total eclipse will last nearly four minutes, peaking between 3:15 p.m. and 3:20 p.m.

Garner State Park (Texas)

Bob/Adobe fall colors in the texas hill

After passing through Mexico, the total eclipse will make its way into Texas in the early afternoon. Garner State Park is another great option for catching historic sight.

The park, which offers easy access to the Frio River and nearly 2,000 acres of stunning, hilly terrain, is expected to get its total eclipse around 1:30 p.m.

Inks Lake State Park (Texas)

snatalia/Adobe rocks of colorado river

The stunning lake and colorful rock outcrops make Inks Lake State Park in Burnet, Texas, another great viewing option for the solar eclipse.

With the partial eclipse creeping into the area in the early afternoon, the peak of totality will last more than four minutes and is expected around 1:34 p.m.

Boulder Beach (Vermont)

Darwin Carozza/Adobe beach in south hero

The total eclipse will be visible in several parks in northern Vermont, with partial coverage visible from shortly after 2 p.m. through 4:37 p.m.

Boulder Beach is a great option for catching the historic sight, but eclipse enthusiasts are warned that all prime viewing spots will likely fill up early and may reach capacity.

Niquette Bay State Park (Vermont)

vermontalm/Adobe Lake Champlain

Another option in Vermont is Niquette Bay State Park. The nearly 600-acre park is full of trails and beautiful sights on any given day, but catching the eclipse from the shores of Lake Champlain should be a particular treat.

The partial eclipse is expected to begin in the area around 2:14 p.m., with a peak at 3:26 p.m.

Bottom line

nacho roca/Adobe smiling boy watching an eclipse

If you’re planning a voyage to any of these top-notch viewing locations, it’s critical to plan ahead (and grab your top travel credit cards for accommodations). 

Most of the areas listed here won’t see a solar eclipse again for decades.

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Author Details

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.

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