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  1. #1

    Default View Total Eclipse from the A.T.?

    Hey guys;
    Every hotel/motel/hostel anywhere close to the path of totality on April 8th is either booked or price-gouged.
    I haven't been able to come up with a way to get myself from northern NJ where I live to the path of totality without paying $$$ for a place to stay, or get stuck in hours of traffic.
    I thought of taking an Amtrak train that happens to be passing through the path of totality at the right time, or getting on a flight from Newark NJ or Stewart Int'l in Newburgh NY but what are the chances that the plane will be flying through the path of totality at just the right time?

    Then I thought of the A.T.
    Baxter Park is in the path of totality, but I seriously doubt that Baxter will be hosting an 'eclipse party', and what tent sites or lean-tos they have will be booked solid.
    But what about the A.T. south of Baxter? The 100-mile wilderness.
    Would it be feasible to pack and drive to say Monson and start hiking the A.T. nobo? There are a few issues I may face:

    Parking. Is multi-day/night parking allowed in Monson? Or perhaps I could fly to Bangor and get a bus or Uber to Monson?
    If I start early enough, I should be able to reach a point that is within the path of totality and has a good sky view.
    Of course, I may run into problems with trail conditions. There will probably be snow on the trail that early, but I have snowshoes and crampons.

    And of course, since I am having this thought, it means that 100+ other hikers are thinking the same thing, so I cannot expect to be hiking the wilderness alone.

    I have never thru-hiked the A.T., let alone the wilderness section. I haven't done any winter tenting either. Maybe it's just a bad idea.
    Any thoughts?

    Thanks for your input
    Ethan.

  2. #2

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    I camped in a state park in Georgia and saw a total eclipse in 2017. It was interesting, but for some reason I expected something more spectacular. If another happened someplace where I was already located I’d watch, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it, especially if it took a lot of travel and you don’t know if it will be a day that isn’t overcast with clouds.
    If you decide to go, check the weather forecast to see if there is a good chance of good viewing conditions.

    EDIT:
    NASA will host live coverage of the eclipse on NASA+, the agency’s website, and the NASA app from 1 to4 p.m. EDT on April 8. NASA also will stream the broadcast live on its Facebook, X, YouTube, and Twitch social media accounts, as well as a telescope-only feed of eclipse views on the NASA TV media channel and YouTube.
    Last edited by gpburdelljr; 02-28-2024 at 23:26.

  3. #3

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    You're right. I shouldn't waste my time and money to get up to Maine. I have the NASA website bookmarked.
    New England gets a lot of cloudy and rainy/snowy weather in April anyway; it's a bad bet to take.
    I purchased a solar filter for my Nikon and several pr of eclipse glasses. I'll just watch from my home in NJ.

  4. #4
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    In case anyone is interested, Maine is the only place on the AT in the path of totality and this will be from about 3 trail miles north of the Frye Notch Lean-to, all the way to Baxter Peak. But the closer you are to the center of totality, the longer the total eclipse will last. On the AT, this wii be in BSP, but outside of BSP, the spot on the AT with the longest totality will be at the west end of Rainbow Lake, about 12.5 trail miles south of Abol Bridge. It's marked on the attached screenshot with the center of totality shown as a red dashed line.

    My plan is to drive 3 hours south to northwest OH, assuming the skies are clear.

    Screenshot_20240228_235606_Chrome.jpg

  5. #5

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    FYI. Baxter State Park is definitely closed and they have put out a warning on the website. April 8th is typically mud season in Maine. Do not plan on driving on any private gravel roads as they may be closed due to spring conditions. I havent checked the statistics for BSP but for Northern NH the chance of a sunny day on that date is around 30%. If the forecast is even remotely good, a big chunk of the Eastern Seaboard will be trying to drive north on I-93, I 91 and I-87. Plan on getting stuck somewhere.

    None of the NH 4000 footers is in the path of totality, the southern edge is about 10 miles north of the AT in Gorham NH.

  6. #6

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    I saw the last one in TN, it was short but spectacular! Going again hoping it's not cloudy. Leaving early and camping (campground). The traffic was unreal last time. I don't recommend trying to go there and coming back the same day. Coming back will be way worse! Traffic was like apocalypse level.

    Anyone looking for a place to stay might find something on hipcamp.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  7. #7

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    BTW, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is technically open to foot traffic during the eclipse. The big issue at KWW is finding a viewpoint as its mostly forest. https://www.nps.gov/kaww/solar-eclipse.htm I read somewhere else but could not find a link that the parking is limited at the referred parking lot. In general its mud season in the Maine woods so anyone that gets off paved state highways is taking a chance of getting stuck. Generally winter logging roads that are used for driving and snowmachine traffic take longer to thaw out than the surrounding woods (BSP has the problem as the perimeter road is used for snowmachine travel) so even mountain bikes may not be good option.

    If there is forecast for good weather access to the eclipse path in Maine NH,Vt and eastern NY will be limited to the carrying capacity of the interstate highways into the region.

    Using annual holidays as a limited example, the roads into the area may be able to handle traffic north as the eclipse will be on Monday so people may spread out travel over a few days. On the other hand the eclipse is ending late on Monday and most people will be heading south at the same time to get back on work on Monday. Add in the I91 is currently 1 lane near Fairlee VT due to a major rockslide, and the interstates could resemble parking lots with very limited services available. This is already an issue on Memorial and Labor days weekends and projections are the traffic volume will be much higher.

    Vermont's trails are "closed" for mud season for good reason, thin soils and large numbers of folks tromping through mud will do major damage to the trails.

    The majority of national forest campgrounds in the Greens and Whites are not open this time of year except for a few walk in sites. Few commercial campgrounds will be open. The tradition of just driving down a dirt road on national forest land and setting up a tent is also limited as most FS roads and many private logging roads are gated for mud season.

    Looks like I should put my wood lot on air B&B and rent out primitive tent sites

  8. #8

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    There are a bunch of places near Rangley Maine. Height of the land parking area should have great views and there are multiple camping spots only a few miles from the roads to spend the night before and then walk out and start the drive home. Will be cool/cold temperatures and the weather is the big concern. Both Saddle back and Sugarloaf area have trails with nice view spots, depending on trail conditions.

  9. #9

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    If you want to see a partial eclipse may I recommend Iron Master's hostel at Pine Grove State Park. Hiking on the AT, nice place to stay plus sitting on the front porch is free.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ETtrailrunner View Post
    You're right. I shouldn't waste my time and money to get up to Maine. I have the NASA website bookmarked.
    New England gets a lot of cloudy and rainy/snowy weather in April anyway; it's a bad bet to take.
    I purchased a solar filter for my Nikon and several pr of eclipse glasses. I'll just watch from my home in NJ.
    I was on Bob Stratton Bald in TN for the August '17 eclipse and it is definitely something worth experiencing in person at least one time in your life. I chose that location because it was only about 4 miles off dead center for totality, and got there 2 nights before the eclipse. By the time of the actual event, there were about 500 other people observing from there. I had parked down at the Kilmer woods parking lot and hiked up with a very nice fellow from Finland.

    You don't really notice the drop in light until about 75% of the sun is covered by the moon, although you can see the coverage (using the solar glasses) of the sun without binoculars when it's around 10-15%.

    When approaching and during totality the whole landscape and the quality of light take on bizarre characteristics that are truly something to behold.

  11. #11

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    Caratunk Maine might have totality

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacob_springsteen View Post
    Caratunk Maine might have totality
    2 min 45 sec of totality, starting 6 seconds after 3:30 PM.

    https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/...1?iso=20240408

  13. #13

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    Eight Days out and the forecast actually looks clear in Northern NH on the 8th. Of course we are in for three day Northeaster snow/rain event wednesday, thursday, friday. The one we had last week dropped 20" in my driveway. its spring on the calendar still plenty of snow in the woods and mountains. Most of the large ski resorts are still open. Wildcat Ski Area, on the AT but just outside the path of totality is having a big blowout. Jay Peak in Vermont on the Long Trail has Pink Floyd tribute band that will be playing the extended Dark Side of the Moon album during the eclipse.

    Many agencies predicting the mother of all traffic jams Monday night for folks trying to head home at the same time.

  14. #14

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    Does anyone know how to figure out if a trailhead parking lot has been plowed? I am more set up for camping in the snow than for getting my little car over a snow bank into a parking lot.

  15. #15

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    The major USFS lots tend to be plowed within 24 hours of major snow storm. The state lots like Lafayette place, Appalachia and 19 mile brook are also plowed within 24 hours of storm. The national forests is outside of the zone of totality so you are dependent on NH DOT to plow any lots up north. Walmart allows overnigth car camping but with big storm some if not all of parking will be loaded with snow from plowing. My guess is the Coos trail lots east of Dixville notch will be plowed, I think Table Rock would be cool place to watch the eclipse. I think the state is pushing the RT 3 corridor as the place to be. Both Lancaster and Colebrook are having activities. My guess is the state is going to be trying to open up as much parking along RT 3 as they can.

    I am unsure how much of Milan Hill State Park of Jericho Lake State park are plowed in the winter as they both have winter activities. Mollidgewock is not plowed and unsure about Lake Umbagog.

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