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Don’t Miss The Great American Eclipse of 2017!

On August 21, 2017 day will turn to night, the temperature will drop, the sun will disappear completely, and a total solar eclipse will make its way across the United States. Haywood County will witness the eclipse around 2:30 p.m. EDT. It’s time to start planning your visit! The Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina is a pristine location for witnessing this rare event.

In these parts, we often say “a stay here stays with you.” Come enjoy the Great American Eclipse of 2017 surrounded by the majestic elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains, and you’re sure to leave with a memory that will last a lifetime.

Why The Fuss?

  • From the Smoky Mountains you’ll be able to see the surrounding landscape darken and brighten again as the dark shadow of the moon races across the sun.
  • During the eclipse the temperature will drop by about 10 degrees.
  • Bright stars and planets will become visible.
  • The 2017 total solar eclipse will only be visible from the western portion of North Carolina.
  • It has been 38 years since the continental U.S. has seen a total solar eclipse, and the first eclipse visible in North Carolina since 1970.
  • North Carolina is one of only 12 states in the eclipse’s Path of Totality.
  • “Path of Totality.” The moon completely blocks the sun. This means anywhere in the continental US will have a view the eclipse up to 60%, and the partial eclipse will be viewable for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Haywood county will have a view of a 95% eclipse, almost a total eclipse, lasting around 1 minute! Very rare and very worth seeing!

Protective Gear Needed:

You MUST wear protective eclipse sunglasses (regular sunglasses are NOT enough). Pick up your a pair of your own at Cabbage Rose in Maggie Valley. You can also find them online.
** Do not look at the Sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious injury. **

Plan Ahead

  • Come up early. We are expecting a lot of traffic, especially in Maggie Valley and Waynesville, so do not wait until the day of to drive up.
  • Request off work! Because a total solar eclipse is so rare, it is going to be a very popular vacation day. And since it falls on a Monday, vacation rentals and hotels are already filling up for eclipse weekend!
  • Make dinner reservations. There will be a lot of people going out to dinner after the eclipse viewing.
  • Enjoy a long weekend. Give yourself time to fully experience all Haywood County has to offer.
  • Attend eclipse events all weekend long. We are working on compiling a list of events and specials local businesses will be offering. Follow along on our Facebook Event Page for the latest updates.

Where to Watch:

Get above the mountain tree lines for the best views. Below are some of the best spots to see the 95% eclipse in Haywood county. 
  1. Waterrock Knob – Get here early this will be a popular spot, and bring your lawn chairs!
  2. Devil’s Courthouse – 20 minute walk/hike up a partially paved trail to summit & overlook, with short but fairly steep incline half way through
  3. Richland Balsam Overlook – Enjoy views from the overlook or reach the summit on a 1.5 mile, self-guided loop trail that passes through a spruce-fir forest.
  4. If you would like to see the 100% elcipse just take a short drive to Jackson County.

Another total solar eclipse will not occur over the U.S. until April 8, 2024. Don’t let this opportunity to view it right here in Western North Carolina pass you by!

If you are a Haywood County business and will be having specials or hosting events during the eclipse weekend please email brindley@visitncsmokies.com with info about your event/specials!