State Parks to welcome eclipse goers

ALBANY – Thacher Park in Albany County is one of more than 180 state parks across New York where you might want to catch of glimpse of the soon-to-arrive solar eclipse. Even though you will only be able to see a partial eclipse in the immediate Capital Region, a journey into the zone of totality is only a short drive away.

State parks to welcome eclipse goers

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The path of total darkness will pass through Upstate New York in the middle of the afternoon, on April 8. It will be a day when the ordinary turns into the extraordinary, when the sun and moon engage in a cosmic ballet.

In short, it will create a memory that lasts a lifetime, and people have already been making interplanetary plans to take part.

“The reservations went like hotcakes,” said Angela Berti, spokeswoman for New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation. “They are all pretty much booked up.”

Eclipse viewing events at campgrounds and historic sites have been on the governor’s radar screen and in the planning stages for well over a lunar year, Berti said.

“Parks that do have camping have been taking reservations since the July 4th weekend of 2023,” said Berti. “Again, Gov. Hochul saw the need and the demand for camping and allowed us, and permitted us to open our campgrounds early, and April is typically not a time for us.”

Beyond the campgrounds, folks can also find suitable solar viewing spots along the path of totality in places like Niagara Falls, the Buffalo Waterfront, Thousand Islands, The Finger Lakes, The Adirondacks, Saranac Lake, Ausable Chasm, and many more.

With folks from all over the world expected to travel to Upstate New York, the hope is that many of those visitors make it more than just a day trip.

“We’ve been working with I Love NY and all of our local tourism partners,” Berti said. “We want them to spend a day, spend that Monday night where ever you’re choosing to watch the eclipse, spend the night, explore what else there is to do in the region, and enjoy New York state. If you don’t have a place to stay yet, your options are probably whittling down pretty quickly.”

One of the great unknowns as April 8th approaches is the weather. If it happens to be overcast that day, it will still get dark in the middle of the afternoon, but those hoping to see a total solar eclipse might just experience total disappointment.