I remember my first eclipse.

I think it was 1994... I was living in Keene, NH and was working for a carpet cleaning company. Right next door was a tire changing place, or garage of some kind. I had heard on the news that morning before work that there was going to be a nearly total solar eclipse. I also heard the best way to view it safely was with welding goggles.

Close-up of a Industrial Welder holding welding Torch with welding sparks.
Kamonchai Mattakulphon

So I went in that day and got chatty with the dudes next door, and when the eclipse started, we all took turns with the welding goggles to check it out. The sun was blocked out about 65% that day. It was still pretty impressive though. And of course, we just had one a few years ago as well.

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Many people from all over, are hoping to descend on the middle part of the state.

Millinocket is one of the hot spots that people are looking at. You can bet that there are no hotel rooms for a few days on either side of the solar event. The path of the eclipse is projected to pretty much go directly overhead, thus giving some spectacular views. Honestly, you'll be able to get a pretty good view about anywhere in Maine, but people always wanna be at the center of the action.

Sun eclipse

And presumably, tons of people will want to head into Baxter State Park, and perhaps even ascend the mighty Katahdin to watch it. However, the folks over at BSP have some other opinions about where you should view the eclipse. In fact, they not only suggest you might try Houlton, but also say this directly:

We recommend that those interested in viewing the solar eclipse in the Katahdin Region seek viewing locations that are outside of the Park.

They also remind us all of a few of the rules.

Spring rules for the park will still be in effect during this time. That means that there will basically be extremely limited, at best. There's no camping anywhere in the park. Katahdin and the Traveler Range are absolutely closed. No exceptions. There will also be no access to park gates.


In basic terms, Baxter State Park will not be most suited for your viewing pleasure. It's not that they're being jerks, it's that there are many environmental factors to be considered. Trails and their surrounding ecosystems are fragile, especially in spring. Foot traffic could be devastating.

Driving on snowmobile trails is obviously a no-no. And as for sleds themselves, they're only allowed on Tote Roads. So as you can see, Baxter isn't really your spot. However, they are quick to point out, that if you really want a good view with a high vantage point, maybe travel to Patten or Mt. Chase. But yeah... Baxter State Park may sound like a good idea, but you may be better off somewhere else.

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