How to watch the solar eclipse in the PA Wilds

How to watch the solar eclipse in the PA Wilds
March 26, 2024 64 view(s)
How to watch the solar eclipse in the PA Wilds

On April 8, 2024, parts of the world will experience a total solar eclipse… including a small part of the northwestern section of the PA Wilds region! This includes places like Warren and the Allegheny Reservoir, along with parts of Warren County and McKean County.

A total solar eclipse is when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The last total eclipse in the northeast US was in August of 2017. After the total solar eclipse in 2024, the next total solar eclipse that can be seen from the contiguous United States won't be for another 20 years... on August 23, 2044!

Many people have already booked hotels and campsites to see the solar eclipse in places along the path of totality across the United States. Expect these areas to be busy on April 8, as well as the days before and after the eclipse.

If you are planning to travel to see the eclipse, be sure to account for more people on the roadways and give yourself extra time to get where you're going. Pack a little extra patience too! Remember, the people traveling to see the eclipse are doing so for the same reason you are... to experience a natural phenomenon that is unique and awe-inspiring. Be patient and kind with others.

Continue reading below for more tips for being prepared, planning ahead, and respecting the natural landscapes and communities you visit!

What is a solar eclipse? Watch this video from NASA.


Protect your eyes

It is never safe to stare directly at the sun, even during an eclipse. Purchase eclipse glasses or use an indirect viewing method. You can use a pinhole projector, such as a notecard with a hole punched into it or a colander that projects the sun’s image onto a nearby surface.

Plan for crowds

If you plan to travel to watch the eclipse, reserve ahead of time. Many hotels and campsites are already booked up! Consider looking outside of popular destinations and stay in a smaller town. This is a great way to avoid big crowds while also boosting the economy of a small community.

Be sure to respect the community you travel to. Don't litter, and be sure to follow the rules of the road and any additional rules they may have in place for the special occasion. Do not trespass on private property to watch the eclipse or at any other time.

Support and respect communities when you travel

Plan to support the community by shopping locally when you travel to see the eclipse! Buy an artisan crafted souvenir or eat a meal at a locally owned restaurant.

Check out these products that were made in the section of the PA Wilds that will see near totality for the 2024 solar eclipse.

Be extra patient

Whether you're watching from a local park with your neighbors or traveling to a special event to mark the solar eclipse, it's important to be considerate of others. Be conscious of their experience, and be mindful of how your actions might impact others. For example, be aware of your group's noise level. Some solar eclipse enthusiasts might want to experience the quiet that reportedly comes during a solar eclipse.

If you are visiting a community in the path of totality, things will likely be crowded. Restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and other locations will likely be overwhelmed, and you may have to wait longer in line or have trouble finding a parking space. 

Be extra patient during this time. If you are in the crowd, remember that you are also part of the crowd! Wear a smile and show a little extra kindness to make sure that you and others enjoy the day.