Virginia State Parks invite visitors to witness eclipse

March 23, 2024
 |
Kiptopeke State Park

RICHMOND, VA – On April 8, the skies will offer a rare spectacle as a total solar eclipse crosses North America, the last solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044. In celebration of this extraordinary event, Virginia State Parks invites visitors to witness this celestial wonder firsthand.

The solar eclipse, a natural phenomenon where the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, casting its shadow on Earth, promises a breathtaking experience for all who witness it. Virginia State Parks, renowned for their pristine natural settings and commitment to environmental education, provide an ideal backdrop for observing this awe-inspiring event.

With 42 state parks across Virginia, visitors will have ample opportunities to find the perfect spot to witness the eclipse. To enhance the viewing experience, Virginia State Parks will host educational programs led by knowledgeable park rangers.

Some parks are offering eclipse events as early as March 23, giving visitors the chance to learn how to be a safe observer, explore the science behind the eclipse and in some cases, make pinhole viewers. To learn more about the solar eclipse events being offered through April 8, go to dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/solar-eclipse.

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What visitors will see during the solar eclipse depends on the weather and the park’s location. Many parks, especially those in Southwest Virginia, are expected to experience more than 85 percent sun obscurity, with Wilderness Road experiencing 90 percent. For a breakdown by park of eclipse start, peak and end times and the percent of obscurity, click here.

Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive early, as parking and viewing areas may fill up quickly. To ensure guests can view the eclipse safely, parks will have a limited number of solar viewing glasses available for purchase. They cost $1 plus tax and will be located in parks’ visitor centers and gift shops.

For more information about viewing locations and educational programs, go to dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/solar-eclipse.

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