Go to North Carolina for a mountainous backdrop to the Great American Eclipse
The entire Tar Heel State will get Totality for six minutes from 14:33 pm EDT on August 21, 2017
Mountains, forest, and total eclipse of the sun. Although the eclipse only arrives in the state of North Carolina for a short time (a mere 41 miles), it could be a rather special part of the eclipse track due to the fact that the shadow will be crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains, Nantahala National Forest and some of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are few people here, which will make it something of a rural experience.
However, wherever you choose to be in North Carolina, be prepared to drive to lower elevations if there is cloud. Having said that, Asheville might be a good place to base yourself outside of ‘the Stripes’. Either way, the eclipse in North Carolina promises to be a very special one, if (and it’s a big if) the sky is cloud free.
Here’s a great map of the Path of Totality in North Carolina.
Totality can be glimpsed in the far western areas of North Carolina at 14:33 pm EDT on August 21, 2017, with the moon shadow leaving North Carolina at 14:39 pm PDT.
Three places to see the eclipse in North Carolina:
1 – The Great American Eclipse Center Line Celebration, Andrews
On the centerline of the Path of Totality, this tiny town will host many activities, including food, music, beer, and wine at Hall Park on First Street. It’s organized by Andrews Brewing Company, Calaboose Cellars, Hoppy Trout Brewing Company and FernCrest Winery Tasting Room.
2 – Solar Fest 2017, The Village Green, Cashiers, Jackson County
Want to cash-in on the eclipse? Slightly off the centerline but still in the Path of Totality, the small mountain towns of Cullowhee, Sylva, Dillsboro and Cashiers make a good destination. There’s a hub website for Jackson County, which details activities (such as a Moonlight Run at the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Center, Cullowhee the day before the eclipse). Monday will see Solar Fest 2017 on the Green (Cashiers’ 12-acre park), a free event for the public including food trucks, live music, entertainment, food and solar panel discussions before Totality.
3 – Bryson City, Great Smoky Mountains, Swain County
Bryson City is setting itself up as a base for explorations within Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Swain County, and has an excellent dedicated website to the surrounding area. However, if you want to get dead on the centreline – and bag yourself an extra 40 seconds or so of Totality – drive from Bryson City up US Highway 74 (aka the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway) in a southwest direction until you get to Andrews.
Photo credit: www.visitmysmokies.com