The Great Outdoors

What To Know If Visiting A DNR Property For Eclipse

Much of Indiana will be in the zone of totality for the total solar eclipse on April 8, including 54 properties managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that will provide an excellent vantage point for viewing the once-in-a-lifetime event.

“We look forward to welcoming thousands of Hoosiers and guests to see and feel the effects of this amazing astronomical event with the wonderful backdrop our public lands provide,” said DNR director Dan Bortner. “We have guests coming in from across Indiana, the country, and the globe to camp, stay at our inns, or spend the day with us. As you prepare your eclipse-day plans, we want you to be prepared to make the most of your time with us.”

If you plan to visit a state park, state forest, fish & wildlife area, or state-managed nature preserve within the zone of totality, expect to have a lot of company, plus the long lines and traffic that come with it — and plan for a full day enjoying the outdoors in spring’s often fickle weather.

If you live in the zone of totality (, you may want to view the event from your own backyard to avoid some challenges.

  • Arrive early and stay put. Entrance gates (where they exist) open at 7 a.m. When parking areas are full, gates will close to cars and pedestrians. If you leave before the eclipse, you may not be able to get back in.
  • Bring your Annual Entrance Pass. Properties with entrance gates will charge gate fees. Cash or credit cards will be accepted, but showing your pass will help the lines move more quickly.
  • Bring cash. Wireless communications in the zone will likely be slow, so bring extra cash for food, drinks, gate entrance, and commemorative items that may be for sale, just in case.
  • Pick up ID tags. Free ID wristbands for kids will be available at or near entrance gates at most properties.
  • Bring lawn chairs and a picnic. The eclipse actually begins between noon and 1 p.m. depending on where you are, but you’ll want to arrive long before that. Some but not all locations may be selling food.
  • Fill your gas tank before you come. People from all over the world will be visiting, and gridlock may ensue as you head home.
  • Pack your car and your patience. Bring extra snacks, water and first aid supplies/medicines and a backpack of car games, videos, or other entertainment for the kids to enjoy during travel.
  • Monitor traffic at INDOT TrafficWise or

See more at

Because viewing the sun at any phase of the eclipse without proper eye protection can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is providing the opportunity to buy eclipse glasses.

The glasses, branded with the state’s eclipse logo and purchased from a vendor on the American Astronomical Society’s approved list (, have 2-millimeter scratch-resistant polymer lenses that filter 100% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays and have been independently tested to be safe for watching all phases of the eclipse.

Four-packs can be bought at for $10 each plus shipping and handling. You can also buy four-packs for $10 each at any Indiana State Park inn gift shop or property office or individual pairs for $3 each. A list of properties is at

Commemorative eclipse logo T-shirts are also available online. The short-sleeve version costs $24.95, and the long-sleeve shirt costs $32.95, plus tax. Park offices and inn gift shops are also starting to stock eclipse shirts; call ahead for shirt and size availability.

Learn more about the eclipse at

The Waynedale News Staff
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