Alternative locations to view the August eclipse

    1

     

    By Russ and Tiña De Maris

    Alternative locations to view the August eclipseWith the August 21 eclipse getting closer, state and national parks in the path of the solar event’s totality are ramping up for huge crowds. Planning on watching the eclipse but unsure of where to go? Here’s a resource that you may not have thought of: U.S. National Wildlife Refuges.


    More than a dozen national wildlife refuges are in the “path of totality” during the eclipse, the first in the United States since 1979. The projected path of the event reaches from the Oregon Coast across the nation to the coast of South Carolina. A string of the country’s wildlife refuges is in the prime viewing area.

    Refuges in the direct path of the eclipse include:

    Pacific Northwest (first U.S. viewing area)
    Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
    Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
    Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
    Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
    William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
    Camas National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho


    Mountain-Prairie
    National Elk Refuge, Wyoming
    Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska

    Midwest
    Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri
    Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri
    Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Missouri
    Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois and Missouri
    Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois
    Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois

    Southeast (last U.S. viewing area)
    Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge, Kentucky
    Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge, Tennessee
    Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina
    Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia and South Carolina
    Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina

    Each refuge will have designated public parking and viewing areas. The number of parking spots will vary by site or refuge complex. You’d be wise to check with refuges for details. Refuges are open from dawn to dusk. Overnight camping or parking is allowed in only some refuges. And because the eclipse is occurring during the height of wildfire season, plans may need to change at short notice to protect public safety.

    Here are few “area specific” tidbits:

    Oregon Coast refuges (Siletz Bay and Nestucca Bay) will cap eclipse visitor numbers at 200 to protect habitat for the fragile Oregon silverspot butterfly. Refuge staff, volunteers and partners have been restoring that habitat for years to prepare for the reintroduction of the federally threatened butterfly at Nestucca Bay Refuge.

    National Elk Refuge near Jackson, Wyoming, warns they’re expecting lots of company. Be sure to have your accommodations arranged prior to arrival. Camping and overnight parking are not allowed on National Elk Refuge. Bring ample food and water in case local supplies run short or traffic congestion makes supply runs difficult. The primary planning site for visitors to the Jackson Hole area that week is https://tetoneclipse.com/.

    In southern Illinois, Crab Orchard Refuge is anticipating spillover from Moonstock, a solar eclipse-themed, four-day music festival set to take place nearby. The refuge will waive entrance fees that day. Look for more information on the refuge website as the date approaches.

    Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles northwest of St. Joseph, Missouri, will host a solar eclipse watch party. The event will feature information on nighttime wildlife as well as the eclipse. A limited number of viewing glasses will be available.

    Finally, here’s a web resource to help you find national wildlife refuges near your home or travel destination.  Click on the state, then click the refuge name to visit each refuge website and learn about all there is to see and do. You can also find refuges by state, alphabetical refuge list, zip code and more.

    Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    ##RVT805

     

    1
    Leave a Comment

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      Subscribe  
    newest oldest most voted
    Notify of
    Walt & Mary Jean

    National Park pass
    My wife & I purchased our $10 lifetime pass in 2013 when we retired. Since then we have spent 3+ months every Summer traveling this beautiful land of ours.
    This year we will complete our tour of 48 States and have visited most of the National Parks.
    At 10 bucks this is the bargain of a lifetime. I have commented to Rangers numerous times that the pass is underpriced! Sadly, many of the less visited National Parks are in need of repairs and upgrades. We must preserve these great natural beauties for future generations. So, complainers quit bellyaching and happily pay the $80 for your pass. It is still underpriced. I also suggest making a donation where ever possible.