These National and State Parks Offer the Best 2024 Solar Eclipse Views
Only two national parks and more than 100 state parks will be in the path of totality in April.
Being on the path of totality during a total solar eclipse is a huge deal, and it will substantially elevate your eclipse viewing experience. If you don't want to believe me, believe all those eclipse chasers who travel miles and miles and days and days to position themselves on the path—they'll tell you all about it.
In the hopeful chance that this was enough to convince you to travel somewhere along the path of totality when eclipse day comes (April 8, 2024, in case you missed it), we have some more advice to give you. This year, more than 100 between national and state parks will be on the path, which means that you can experience totality while surrounded by beautiful nature—and possibly, by some cool events as well! Some of these parks organize proper eclipse get-togethers, so even if you have nothing planned yet, you can totally rely on them for a truly memorable experience.
We rounded up our favorite parks to give you an idea of where to go, but if you want to head elsewhere, you can check out this very handy National Park Service map detailing other parks along the path, as well as national monuments and more.
National parks on the path of totality
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
Only two national parks will be on the path of totality on April 8, and Cuyahoga Valley is one of them. Here, you can experience the gorgeous celestial event in a 33,000-acre park made of gorgeous forests and clearings. Since it's the only national park around there, it is expected to get pretty crowded, so make sure you get there early.
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Arkansas is home of the second of the two national parks that will be in the path of totality, namely the iconic Hot Springs National Park. If you pick this destination, get ready to surround yourself with thermal springs or hike through one of the many hiking trails—and maybe take a dip and relax in one of its bathhouses after watching the eclipse.
Bonus: Kouchibouguac National Park, Canada
Technically, it isn't in the US, but it's still worth mentioning. If you find yourself north of the border on April 8, consider watching the eclipse from Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick. Its beautiful lagoons and sandy dunes will make for a breathtaking backdrop for the celestial event of the year.
State parks on the path of totality
Niagara Falls State Park, New York
Needless to say, Niagara Falls State Park is one of the best state parks you can catch totality from. Head over to Horseshoe Falls for prime seats to the eclipse, but make sure you plan in advance, since the park is expected to get very crowded with other stargazing enthusiasts. Much like other parks, you can expect to catch a bunch of public eclipse-themed events across the park.
Garner State Park, Texas
Texas is one of the key states for the total solar eclipse in terms of both weather forecasts and position, and Garner State Park should be on your radar if you're planning to watch the event from there. Located in Uvalde County, the park will be filled with astronomers, researchers, and eclipse fans, and there will be plenty of events (even interactive ones!) for viewers to enjoy. Plus, thanks to its 15 trails and roughly three miles of river to float in, it offers a variety of landscapes from which to enjoy the phenomenon.
Beavers Bend State Park, Oklahoma
If you find yourself in Oklahoma on April 8, you might want to check out Beavers Bend State Park. Thanks to its access to both Broken Bow Lake and Mountain Fork River, you can enjoy totality by some nice bodies of water, and plan your day around it, too. Here, you can enjoy many different activities, including waterskiing, fishing, and horseback riding.
Lake Wappapello State Park, Missouri
Missouri will be a popular destination for eclipse day, since 14 of its state parks are located in the path of totality. Among them, Lake Wappapello State Park offers one of the longest totality periods (more than four minutes) as well as gorgeous waterfront views.