Edited by Karen Rubin, Travel Features Syndicate, goingplacesfarandnear.com
A gigantic swath of New York State will be in the path of totality of the April 8, 2024 Solar Eclipse. Miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience when the moon completely covers the sun, turning day into night and sparking all sorts of eerie reactions and you’ll have to wait 400 years for the next total solar eclipse in New York State.
The total solar eclipse will begin around 3:20 pm (the time will differ depending what part of the state you are in), and last up to 3 minutes and 38 seconds depending on your vantage point, with about a half-hour before and after totality when you see the moon making its dramatic pass to cover and then recede.
The regions, cities, towns and villages where the viewing is most ideal – a 124-mile wide path stretching from Chautauqua-Allegheny to the majestic Niagara Falls in Greater Niagara, over the pristine Finger Lakes, mighty Adirondacks, and magical Thousand Islands-Seaway are taking on a festival atmosphere, and attractions, from the Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory to the Rochester Museum & Science Center are hosting events even days before.
Editors at New York State’s tourism bureau, ILoveNY, have curated the best places in each of the regions to go. You should plan early and book accommodations (and check the weather three days before), and remember to bring your eclipse glasses (though some festivals and events will be handing them out) and filter for your camera:
Best Viewing Spots in the Adirondacks
The Adirondacks Region is going all-out for the Solar Eclipse, with many venues and festivities. More than half of the Adirondack Park will be in the path of totality, when the entire face of the sun is obscured by the moon.
Because there is likely to still be snow on summits in the Adirondacks, unless you are an experienced hiker with crampons, steer toward fields or parks (especially the ones that are hosting special events).
Rachel Dymond, Editorial Project Manager of ILOVENY.com, has prepared this curated list of destination-worthy sites that offer ideal vantage points for the rare astronomical event.
Olympic Legacy Sites in Lake Placid: Lake Placid, home to four distinct Olympic sites used in the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympics, is hosting “Glow for the Gold” where you can marvel in the eclipse for free from historic venues including the James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval; Olympic Jumping Complex; Mt Van Hoevenberg; and at Whiteface Mountain (a free event, but discounted lift tickets for a once-in-a-lifetime ski day, then party at Cloudspin Bar & Grill deck, eclipse glasses included). Festive events will feature eclipse sunglasses, glow sticks and music (www.lakeplacid.com/events/glow-for-the-gold-at-lake-placid-legacy-sites).
Tupper Lake is in the center of the path of the Solar Eclipse and will experience 3 minutes and 35 seconds of totality. “Totality in Tupper, ” a free community event at the 115-acre Wild Center in the Adirondacks, will feature free solar viewing glasses, telescope and binocular view stations, make your own pinhole viewers, XL Solar viewing glasses, livestream of NASA coverage, special programming in Planet Adirondack, live creature features that focus on how the sun affects animals’ lives, circadian rhythms, and yearly behavior, solar-powered maple tastings, tours, tapping demos, special themed foods, food trucks, New Forest Music composition, live glass-blowing demonstration from reps from the Corning Museum of Glass, live community mural creation, solar-powered silent disco with live DJ, and opportunities to get commemorative eclipse tattoos from hand poke tattoo artist Jane Romm (wildcenter.org/eclipse).
Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory is hosting free family-oriented activities include a 36’ mega-screen that will provide numerous multimedia experiences, live music, food, NASA live streaming, guest speakers, demonstrations, and crafts.
Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center: The VIC’s 25 miles of trails, including six miles of interpretive nature trails, showcase the natural beauty of the Adirondack Mountains and provide unparalleled opportunities to view, hear, photograph, and enjoy nature– and the Eclipse! Connect with nature, astronomy and weave through woodland and marshland, by ponds, brooks, and bogs. Eclipse events are being hosted on campus at Paul Smith’s College.
Saranac Lake: Head downtown on April 8, 2024 for “Saranac Lake Solar Fest” where there will be live music, art exhibitions, food and drinks, and a supreme vantage point to view the eclipse surrounded by scenic mountains and lakes. The Village Main Street is the venue for the community wide viewing party. Additional viewing points downtown include: Hotel Saranac Terrace, Saranac Waterfront Lodge’s waterfront yard, Riverside Park extending to Riverfront Park, and Berkley Green.
Lake Placid, with the sparkling Mirror Lake, is in the path of totality. Pack a picnic and settle in at Mid’s Park, a grassy area along the shore with Adirondack chairs and a pavilion, where there will be live music and activities throughout the day. Additional activities will be held at nearby John Brown Farm, and Marcy Field. The Lake Placid Horse Show Grounds and North Elba Athletic Fields are also fantastic wide open viewing areas to catch the Eclipse.
Nestled along the picturesque northwestern shore of Lake Champlain, Point Au Roche State Park is an ideal destination for viewing the Solar Eclipse. This stunning location perfectly aligns with the path of totality, and the combination of its protected beach area, expansive open shorelines, and diverse network of walking and hiking trails makes it an exceptional setting for observing celestial phenomena.
Ausable Chasm, touted as the “Grand Canyon of the East”, makes for an extraordinary place to view the Eclipse along any of its five miles of well-maintained hiking trails. As you walk along you’ll reach multiple scenic vistas that provide different perspectives of the natural beauty of Ausable Chasm, while interpretive signage describes the native flora, wildlife, and geologic history. Immerse yourself in geological and astronomical splendor, all in the same spot! (This is a private attraction so expect to pay admission fee to go on the trails but there is viewing on a bridge as well before you enter the attraction.)
Blue Mountain Lake: Total Solar Eclipse Experience at The ADKX (Adirondack Experience): The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake ($25 admission includes live music, eclipse glasses, food trucks, museum exhibits, commemorative photos.)
High Peaks Resort on the shores of Mirror Lake in the heart of Lake Placid is offering a Total Solar Eclipse package . In addition to the eclipse viewing on April 8, 2024, High Peaks Resort is throwing a lawn party from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM with food, drink, and entertainment at Lake House. (Book: https://www.highpeaksresort.com/events-at-lake-placid/total-solar-eclipse).
Another lodge that can serve as an excellent base is Lorca Adirondacks, Indian Lake (thelorca.com, 518-300-3916).
More lodging: https://www.adirondackhub.com/lodging
You can also view the Eclipse at these Adirondack sites: Cadyville Recreation Park, City of Plattsburgh Beach. Byron Park, Arrowhead Park – Inlet, Mt Sabattis Recreation Area, Makomis Fire Tower / Sacandaga River Community Park, Newcomb Overlook, Crown Point State Historic Site, Jay Village Green, Westport Golf, Powerhouse Park – Port Henry Public Beach, “The Grove” municipal park, and Frontier Town Gateway.
Visit Eclipse ADK 2024, Lake Placid 2024 Total Solar Eclipse, Adirondack Coast Eclipse, and Tupper in Totality to stay up to date on the latest events, deals, and other eclipse offerings in the Adirondacks.
More information at www.2024-eclipse.com.
Best Viewing Spots in the Finger Lakes
Curated by Emma Frisbie, Digital Content Coordinator for ILOVENY.com
The Finger Lakes offers the perfect pairing of picturesque views with the total solar eclipse experience on April 8, 2024. Witness this once-in-a-lifetime event from the sandy shores of Lake Ontario, at multi-day magical eclipse celebrations, alongside a 96-foot Rochester High Falls. Here are some of the Finger Lakes’ best viewing spots:
Rochester Museum and Science Center is hosting a four-day ROC The Eclipse weekend festival featuring music and food, 200 hands-on activities and exhibits, live science shows and programs at the museum or travel through the universe under the 65-foot dome theater of the Strasenburgh Planetarium (www.rochestereclipse2024.com).
Rochester’s High Falls: On any normal day, High Falls, the tallest waterfall on the Genesee River, is an extraordinary view – where else can you see a 96-foot waterfall amid a bustling cityscape? But on April 8, 2024, this view will be spectacular and totality will last 3 minutes and 38 seconds. Exceptional angles of the falls can be seen from the overlook in High Falls Terrace Park or the rooftop of one of the largest and oldest continually operating breweries in America, the Genesee Brew House. The 9,200-square-foot former century-old packaging center also features interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, a pilot brewery and tasting room, and pub-style restaurant to explore after the celestial event.
Sodus Point Beach Park: Witness this celestial phenomenon from the sandy beaches of Sodus Point Beach Park alongside the mingling waters of the peaceful Sodus Bay and the spirited coast of Lake Ontario. You won’t have any trouble finding a great spot on the 1,150-foot pier with views of the original 140-year-old Sodus Point Lighthouse and Lighthouse Museum to the west, the magnificent Chimney Bluffs to the east, and the Sodus Outer Lighthouse straight ahead. Pack a lunch or grab a bite to eat from one of the village’s restaurants and settle into one of the pavilions. (Free admission.)
Fair Haven Beach State Park offers views from 1,500 feet of sandy beaches at one of the finest public lakefronts on the eastern shoreline of Lake Ontario amid dramatic bluffs, hilly woodlands, and endless scenic views. Enjoy hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, a ball field, an 18 hole golf course.
Green Lakes State Park: Admire the wonder of the eclipse alongside the geological and biological wonders of two deep glacial pothole lakes. Green Lakes State Park has 2,100 acres of forested hiking trails, a sandy public beach with swimming access in the summer, seven cabins, 137 campsites, a playground, an 18-hole golf course (opens mid-April), and the famous Crystal Kayak rentals with glass bottoms (available to rent on weekends from mid-May until early-October). The park’s focal points are the two green lakes which were carved out of bedrock by glacial-melt waterfalls, making them very deep (195 feet!). Because of this, the lakes have a still, mirror-like appearance, revealing ancient plant and animal life and creating an amazing photo and viewing spot.
Geneva, on the scenic shores of Seneca Lake,the largest of the Finger Lakes is hosting a three-day“Embrace the Dark Festival” with exciting eclipse-themed events. Kick the weekend off with a tour of a historic observatory from the 1800s, live music, science-based winery and brewery tours,special viewing hotel packages. For the grand finale on April 8, make your way to the Geneva Lakefront or Seneca Lake State Park, a 141-acre park located on the northern end of Seneca Lake, for an unobstructed view of the beautiful blue waters and wide open skies(www.eclipsegeneva.com).
Genesee Country Village & Museum’s Solar Spectacle is three days of historical happenings leading up to the eclipse including special programming, performances, and activities. Throughout your journey through the 19th-century village, discover how Americans of this time period viewed, understood, and recorded total solar eclipses, viewing location experiences from the historic village, South Field Drive-In, or one of the other exceptional spots.
Other Eclipse viewing spots: Upper Onondaga Park, Conesus Lake, Hemlock Lake, Genesee Valley Greenway State Park, Livingston County Fairgrounds. Also, the lakefronts of the Finger Lakes will be a prime viewing locations – Seneca Lake, Canandaigua Lake, and Honeoye Lake each have public lakefront parks.
Visit Total Solar Eclipse 2024 in Finger Lakes, Rochester Eclipse 2024, LivCo Sol: 2024 Total Solar Eclipse, Explore Steuben: Experience the Solar Eclipse, and Eclipse Geneva to stay up to date on the latest events, deals, and other eclipse offerings in the Finger Lakes. (www.fingerlakes.org/eclipse-2024)
More information at iloveny.com
Next: Best Solar Eclipse Viewing in Greater Niagara, Chautauqua-Allegheny, Thousand Islands Seaway
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