Eclipse 2024

Hamilton County in the Path of Totality

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will drape the Adirondack mountains and upstate New York in darkness! This rare event is an astrophotographer's paradise, and travel-lovers will find that the Adirondacks are an exceptional place, if not the best place in the country, to view the eclipse. Hamilton County, in particular, is filled with small towns and big outdoors, translating to many quiet and peaceful options for viewing the eclipse.

The path of totality for a solar eclipse can happen anywhere in the world, but more often than not the shadow casted by the eclipse lands in the ocean, near the poles, or not even hitting the Earth at all! The fact that this narrow strip of shade is running right through the Adirondacks is enough to drop what you're doing, make plans to attend an eclipse-themed event, and get excited. Why? You'll have to wait another 375 years to experience a total solar eclipse in the Adirondacks again.

When will the eclipse start, and how long does it last? 

Hamilton County has numerous communities in the path of totality. Check out the FAQ below for information on the timing of totality.

The best places to watch

All around the region, businesses are organizing eclipse events, and there are parks and outdoor spaces with exceptional views of the sky. Grab your solar eclipse viewing glasses, and find the spot that suits your interest! The list and map, as well as the FAQ section below, offer some suggestions for your viewing experience.

Cell phone usage

The period of totality and for some time afterward will be the peak load for cell towers, as people send and post their eclipse videos and photos.

How to be prepared:

  • Bring a printed map or a screenshot of your directions.
  • Plan on where to meet friends and family after the eclipse, in case you get separated.
  • Keep your phone charged.

Drone usage

In the Adirondack Park, it is legal to launch a drone anywhere the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows, except on specific state lands, and for private use only.

  • Drones are motorized equipment and the operation of drones on lands classified as Wilderness, Primitive, or Canoe is absolutely prohibited.
  • Commercial drone usage on state Wild Forest lands and over the Adirondack Rail Trail require a permit.
  • For more info on the land classification of your viewing site, please visit the DEC website.

For safety reasons, we strongly suggest that you enjoy the eclipse with your eyes, telescopes, and binoculars, with proper protective gear, and leave the drone at home. On April 8, the skies will already be much busier with public and private aircraft.

Solar eclipse helpline

If you have more questions than we've answered here and in the frequently asked questions below, call the solar eclipse helpline at 518-621-3682. This dedicated information line is designed to field whatever inquiries remain. Whether you're a local wondering what to expect or a visitor trying to get close to totality, we're here to help. The helpline will be open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Friday through Monday.

A banner inviting users to sign up for a vacation getaway.

slider items: 

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the eclipse start?

The eclipse will start at varying times, depending on where you are in the region. Around Hamilton County, the eclipse will start at the following times:

  • Blue Mountain Lake: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:12 p.m., with totality starting at 3:24 p.m.
  • Indian Lake: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:12 p.m., with totality starting at 3:25 p.m.
  • Inlet: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:13 p.m., with totality starting at 3:24 p.m.
  • Long Lake: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:12 p.m., with totality starting at 3:24 p.m.
  • Piseco: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with maximum totality occurring at 3:26 p.m.
  • Arietta: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with maximum totality occurring at 3:26 p.m.
  • Morehouse: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with maximum totality occurring at 3:25 p.m.
  • Raquette Lake: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with totality starting at 3:24 p.m.
  • Speculator: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with maximum totality occurring at 3:26 p.m.
  • Lake Pleasant: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with maximum totality occurring at 3:26 p.m.
  • Wells: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with maximum totality occurring at 3:26 p.m.
  • Hope: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with maximum totality occurring at 3:26 p.m.
  • Benson: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:11 p.m., with maximum totality occurring at 3:26 p.m.
  • Speculator: Partial eclipse will begin at 2:100 p.m., with maximum occurring at 3:26 p.m.
How long will totality last?

Totality will last for varying durations around the region:

  • Blue Mountain Lake: 2 minutes and 41 seconds
  • Indian Lake: 2 minutes and 5 seconds
  • Inlet: 2 minutes and 46 seconds
  • Long Lake: 3 minutes and 2 seconds
  • Raquette Lake: 2 minutes and 48 seconds

Note - Some towns from the above FAQ are not listed here, as they are located just below where totality occurs. However, they will still experience a partial solar eclipse.

Where can I watch the eclipse in Hamilton County?

Here are some viewing locations for the eclipse!

Where can I stay in Hamilton County?

There are dozens of lodging options spread across the communities of our region! Choose from cozy cabins & cottages, hotels & motels, and unique vacation rentals. Book soon, rooms are filling up quickly!

What's April weather like in Hamilton County, and how can I prepare?

April weather can be varied, with snow and cold conditions possible. Here are some travel and safety tips:

  • Keep extra layers, snacks, and water in your car, and don’t forget to fill up on gas before you go.
  • Plan your activities and travel route ahead of time. Service is spotty, so bring a map and/or gps.
  • Trail conditions are poor, and hiking for the eclipse is not advised. If you do decide to experience the eclipse from a trail, bring the 10 essentials and practice LNT principles.
Are there things to do in Hamilton County before and after the eclipse?

Yes! Come early, and stay after the eclipse! Hamilton County has endless things to do, making the eclipse one of several memorable activities during a trip here. 

Solar Eclipse Safety Tips

A total solar eclipse is an amazing wonder of nature and we couldn't be more excited to have the eclipse cast its shadow over the Adirondacks this April! Between stunning snow capped mountains and glistening spring brooks it will be a spectacle to behold. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience it will be important to plan for April weather and increased traffic. Here are some planning and safety guidelines to navigate the ever changing weather while enjoying this remarkable event!

Plan Ahead
This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience — plan like it! A total solar eclipse is an exciting event that will attract an influx of visitors from far and wide to the region. Prepare for a perfect eclipse by making your plans well in advance.  Make lodging reservations as soon as possible. Some lodging properties are already completely booked out!

Use maps and GPS to plan where you’re going and note that cell service may be sparse in areas. Bring a map as a back-up to using your phone. If you’re just coming for the day, it’s a good idea to stock up on supplies before you arrive. Bring snacks and water and fill up your gas tank.

Come early, stay late
The eclipse itself may only last a few minutes, but there are plenty of reasons to make this a multi-day experience! Build in a buffer around the eclipse and enjoy more of the region in the days leading up to and after the eclipse.

Added fun isn’t the only reason to extend your stay.  Large day-of crowds may create traffic delays and springtime travel conditions may vary. Avoid any hassle by being close to the path of totality to begin with.

Take spring conditions seriously
Mud, snow, and ice are the most common Adirondack trail conditions in April, which makes trails more susceptible to impacts and potentially dangerous for hikers. If you plan to hike around the time of the eclipse, please be mindful of varying trail conditions and respect muddy trail advisories. High elevation trails will have snow and ice on them. Temperatures can also change dramatically between a trailhead and the summit. If you have little experience in winter hiking, it is best to avoid hiking the High Peaks. Check trail conditions before you go, and be prepared for winter conditions.

If you are going to hike, choose a low-elevation trail and come prepared. Bring extra layers and don’t forget to pack the 10 essentials—especially a headlamp. Be aware that there may be an increased number of visitors recreating on trails and at various locations around the region during this time. Have a back-up plan in case trailhead parking is full or, better yet, opt for a watch party and save the hike for another day.

Enjoy the eclipse with others
Normally we encourage seeking solitude on an Adirondack summit, but as the eclipse will plunge the region into temporary darkness, a mountain might not be your best option for a memorable experience. And since the eclipse will look the same from any location along the path of totality, why not stay in your favorite Adirondack town, and enjoy the eclipse with others! The excitement of the event has spurred on local businesses and towns to host numerous watch parties across the region, perfect for celebrating this incredible sight. 
Trash your trash and respect nature
Whether you’re on a trail or at a watch party, help keep the Adirondacks clean. If you’re on a hike, store litter — including food waste like peels, cores, and other scraps — in a garbage bag to be taken home and thrown out. While you’re in town, take advantage of trash and recycling cans. When the eclipse is done, pack up solar viewing glasses, chairs, food, and other waste or dispose of it in designated receptacles. Basically, if it comes with you, it leaves with you.

We humans aren’t the only ones that will notice this natural phenomenon. Wildlife activity may also become unusual, as most mammals and birds will wander back to their nests and dens during the sudden dark conditions. Critters are liable to be confused, so give them some extra space and try not to interfere with their movements. And, as always, keep your snacks to yourself.

Avoid bodies of water
In early spring, Adirondack lakes may still be covered in unsafe ice and all water will be at near-freezing temperatures. Breaking through or capsizing in these cold waters can result in severe hypothermia and life-threatening conditions. It’s best not to trust ice-covered lakes at this time of year. It might hold snow or wildlife, but it likely will not hold you.

Even if the ice is out, water still poses risks. The total darkness of the eclipse will cause decreased visibility that will make it harder to be seen and navigate in case of emergency. While bodies of water offer wide open views, the hazards of cold water and dark conditions make dry land a far safer viewing option.

Come prepared
With a large influx of travelers coming to the region to view the solar eclipse, it is important to travel prepared. Keep extra layers, snacks, and water in your car and don’t forget to fill up on gas before you go. Plan your activities ahead of time, and make sure to check weather updates.

Due to an increased number of visitors around the region, your planned destinations may be more crowded, including hiking trails, restaurants, and attractions. Be prepared to change your route around the region based on conditions. Cell service may be sparse in certain areas, so alert others of your plans, and travel with a map and GPS.

View the eclipse safely
When watching the eclipse, it is essential to wear safe solar eclipse glasses. Solar viewing glasses are different from sunglasses and block out more of the sun’s harmful rays. Many watch parties and communities will have viewing glasses available, but it’s a good idea to bring your own just in case.

Why are these glasses necessary? The darkness of the eclipse will cause your pupils to constrict, making your eyes more susceptible to damage from the sun’s remaining rays. Remember not to view the eclipse through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or your phone without a special solar filter either. These devices will further concentrate the remaining light and increase risk of damage to your eyes.