Eclipse Day Parking Rules for Forest Service Roads

Most Forest Service Roads are not this rocky. ~ Photo Barlow Adventures

On Monday, August 21, 2017 — The Day of the Great American Eclipse — folks figure the best place to watch the sun go dark around 2:30 PM EDT in Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas will be along Forest Service roads in the mountains.

Hahahaha!  Don’t you just love optimists!!

My guess is there won’t be room for squirrels to park on narrow dirt roads in the hills that day.  No, it’s not that I am a pessimist.  The U. S. Forest Service (USFS) is concerned about parking in the mountains when Eclipsers descend on the 21st.

Highlights from the Forest Service Press Release on Parking in the Mountains on Eclipse Day:

  • Due to the increase in visitors expected for the solar eclipse on August 21, drivers must obey parking rules and plan ahead for high amounts of traffic on narrow forest roads.
  • Use extreme caution when driving and parking, and pay close attention to other vehicles, pedestrians, and bikers that will be sharing the roads and will likely be distracted.
  • There must be enough space for fire trucks and ambulances to get up and down Forest Service roads in case of an emergency
  • If a vehicle is impeding the flow of traffic, it will be towed.
  • Popular areas will hit full capacity early in the day.
  • Visitors may be directed elsewhere, such as Bolivia, where the eclipse will not be visible.

  • Traffic and parking will be controlled by the USFS, as well as restricted access to some areas to reduce the potential for damage.
  • Many roads on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are rough and may not be suitable for vehicles without high clearance or 4-wheel drive.
  • Cell phone service can be limited or unavailable.
  • GPS units are often unreliable in the forest.

In addition, there will be approximately one clean public bathroom with running water for every 31,409 visitors.  Please bring extra water, diapers, food and a cheerful attitude.

About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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