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Experience a Once-In-A-Lifetime Phenomenon: The 2024 Total Solar Eclipse in the Adirondacks

Get ready to be shrouded in darkness on April 8, 2024, as you experience one of nature's most spectacular phenomena - a total solar eclipse - when it sweeps over the Adirondacks in 2024. The opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse, and not just a partial eclipse, is an extremely rare occurrence. In fact, the next one won't cross over the U.S. until 2044, and the Adirondacks won't be in the path of totality again until 2099.

This makes the 2024 total solar eclipse a true once-in-a-lifetime event that you do not want to miss. Find out what you need to know to prepare for the total solar eclipse now, including what it is, why the Adirondacks are the best place to view it, and more.

What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

image of a near total solar eclipse

A total solar eclipse happens every 18 months or so when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are lined up precisely in that order. When the Moon passes in front of the Sun, it causes temporary darkness to cover a small part of the Earth, known as the path of totality.

The path of totality is the area where the total solar eclipse will be completely visible to those viewing it. Being able to actually experience a total solar eclipse, instead of a partial eclipse, is very rare, as you have to be somewhere on the path of totality at the right time.

Our next total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, 2024, and be visible in parts of the United States. The total solar eclipse path of totality will be about 115 miles wide and travel from the southeastern U.S. to the northeastern U.S., crossing over 13 states along the way. New York State is in the path of totality for the 2024 eclipse, including most of the Adirondacks.

Why Will the Adirondacks Be the Best Place to View the Eclipse?

2024 solar eclipse map
Source: NASA/Scientific Visualization Studio/Michala Garrison; eclipse calculations by Ernie Wright, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

In 2024, the Adirondacks will offer an incredible opportunity for solar eclipse enthusiasts to enjoy the celestial event. The path of totality will cross over a large region: the northern Adirondacks, western Adirondacks, central Adirondacks, and eastern Adirondacks. Communities like Potsdam, Malone, Plattsburgh, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake, Keene, Indian Lake, Inlet, Old Forge, Newcomb, Port Henry, and Schroon Lake will be in the path of totality, allowing residents and visitors the chance to see the eclipse in full.

Southern Adirondack communities just outside the path of totality, like Lake George and Ticonderoga, will still be able to see a near-total solar eclipse. Viewers in Lake George, for example, will witness a deep partial eclipse with a magnitude of 98.9%, only 1.1% off from a total solar eclipse.

The Adirondack Park's natural beauty make it an ideal destination for experiencing the wonder and awe of a total solar eclipse.

How Long Will the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse Last?

image of the first eight stages of a total solar eclipse

The duration of the eclipse will range from a few seconds to a maximum of 4 minutes and 28 seconds, depending on your location on the path of totality.

For viewers in New York's Adirondacks, here is an approximate time frame for the total solar eclipse (times may vary slightly):

  • Partial eclipse begins: 2:12 PM EDT
  • Totality begins: 3:24 PM EDT
  • Maximum eclipse: 3:26 PM EDT
  • Totality ends: 3:27 PM EDT
  • Partial eclipse ends: 4:36 PM EDT

The Best Spots to View the Total Solar Eclipse in the Adirondacks

lake with mountains in the background
Carry Falls Reservoir

Some of the best spots to view the total solar eclipse will be open spaces without obstruction of the sky, such as public parks and overlooks, fields, beaches, and lakes. Think of locations like Overlook Park in Newcomb, Carry Falls Reservoir in Colton, or Riverside Park in Saranac Lake.

Keep in mind, though; you don't have to travel far if you live in the Adirondacks. Check out the path of totality to see where your home is located, and if you're in luck, you might be able to view it from your own backyard.

Don't live in the Adirondacks? Book a place to stay along the path of totality. Imagine walking right outside your door and being able to view the eclipse above you.

The Best Places to Stay in the Adirondacks to See the Eclipse

Experts are anticipating an extremely large crowd to gather in the Adirondacks to experience this event. Avoid the hustle and bustle of visitors from all over the country racing to get to the Adirondacks, and book ahead now.

Best Adirondack Lodging Within the Total Solar Eclipse Zone

These accommodations fall directly within the path of totality. With a clear view of the sky and the proper equipment, you should be able to see the total solar eclipse from the hotel or resort's property. You'll also be within driving distance of town-wide viewing events that are planned throughout the Adirondacks.

Paddler's Rest in Long Lake, NY

Staying at Paddler's Rest in Long Lake offers an exceptional opportunity to witness the total solar eclipse. Their spacious property features a private beach area with a clear view of the sky, and it is in a low-light pollution area that will enhance the eclipse viewing experience. Choose from motel rooms, traditional cabins, cabin efficiencies, and a vacation home for your stay.

Best Adirondack Lodging Near the Total Solar Eclipse Zone

Another great option is to stay in a partial solar eclipse zone near the area of complete totality. If you choose to stay on the property, you'll be able to see a partial solar eclipse if you have a clear view of the sky and the proper equipment. These properties are also located a short drive away from places where you can view the total solar eclipse.

Garnet Hill Lodge in North River, NY

Situated in the beautiful Gore Mountain Region, Garnet Hill Lodge offers comfortable lodging, delicious on-site dining, seasonal activities, and incredible views of the surroundings. The lodge's elevated location and large lawn provides unobstructed views of the sky, making it an ideal place for solar eclipse viewers. Lodging options include the Log House Balcony Rooms (perfect for views of the outdoors), the Log House Standard Rooms, the Birches Cottage, and the Tea House Cottage.

Can You Hike to See the Total Solar Eclipse?

person wearing blue jeans and hiking boots walking on muddy trail

While hiking to the top of a mountain sounds like a great way to see the total solar eclipse, we do not recommend hiking the Adirondack High Peaks or any trails above 3,000 feet elevation to do so.

April is spring mud season in the Adirondacks, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation asks hikers to stay off high elevation trails and plan ahead for variable conditions on low elevation trails, such as slushy snow, mud, and flooded areas. The annual muddy trails advisory is typically in effect from early spring into mid-June.

If you're planning to go hiking, search for a low elevation trail with open views. For example, the Heaven Hill Farm Trail in Lake Placid is accessible year round, less than a mile long, and will bring you through the woods to a wide open field.

How to View the Total Solar Eclipse Safely

sun through solar eclipse glasses

Viewers should only look directly at the sun with proper protection, especially during a total solar eclipse. Here are some key tips you should follow to safely view the eclipse in 2024:

  • The ONLY safe way is to use "eclipse glasses" or handheld solar viewers. These must comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard.
  • Eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses.
  • When it is COMPLETELY dark out, you can look without the glasses, but as soon as the sun starts to peek through again, put the glasses back on.
  • You can also use an indirect viewing method - a pinhole projector. Punch a hole through an object, and then with your back toward the sun, hold out the object. The shadow on the ground will show the phases of the eclipse within the small hole.

Also, it is important to remember that if someone plans on watching the entire eclipse, they will still be in the sun for a reasonable amount of time, so sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing are recommended.

Whether you're a seasoned eclipse chaser or a first-time observer, the Adirondacks are the perfect destination for viewing the 2024 total solar eclipse. Don't miss your chance to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event in one of the most beautiful places in the world.