Solar eclipse to increase visitation to Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests

Press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: 

Asheville, N.C., July 31, 2017- Parts of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are expecting extremely high numbers of visitors for the weekend of August 18-21 due to the solar eclipse. Forest Service staff encourage visitors to carefully plan ahead to ensure a safe and memorable event.

We expect our recreation sites and campgrounds to be at capacity on August 21 and the weekend before. Most of our sites do not take reservations and are offered on a first-come basis so make sure to arrive with alternate plans in mind. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the area you plan on visiting including camping restrictions.

Plan ahead and be prepared by wearing layers of clothing, having plenty of gas, water and food, and a map as GPS units are often not reliable or accurate in remote areas of the forest. Visitors are also reminded to check local weather forecasts and the National Forests in North Carolina Facebook ( for safety alerts and potential forest closures put in place to ensure emergency access.

Remember that the eclipse can be viewed anywhere the sun in visible and forest canopies may obstruct your view. Many local communities will be hosting celebrations through events that are easily accessible and offer various amenities. For more information on these events and visiting the national forests during the eclipse, visit our eclipse page at

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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