Monday 15th April 2024

Fort Donelson To Host Eclipse Viewing Event



Dover, Tenn.–It will not be 100% coverage, nor 99%. Or even 98%. But on April 8 visitors to Fort Donelson National Battlefield can observe and experience a significant darkening of the surroundings, with a 97.9% peak coverage of the sun during the much-lauded solar eclipse.

For the coordinates of Fort Donelson, the eclipse will start at 12:44 PM, gradually darkening the surroundings before reaching its peak coverage at 2:02 PM. From that point, the sun will begin to slowly emerge, returning to its full view at 3:19 PM, the conclusion of the eclipse.

To share in what it hopes to be a national park experience to remember, the Fort Donelson team will be hosting events and learning opportunities prior to the start of the eclipse. From 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the River Batteries (Tour Stop #4) eclipse-related arts and crafts will be offered, as well as opportunities to learn exactly what an eclipse is, how and why they occur, and how to safely observe them. Those in attendance will receive one pair of special eclipse viewing glasses, distributed at the event site, while supplies last.

In addition, a special Junior Ranger Eclipse explorer activity book will be available for youth to complete for the eclipse badge. Supplies of the much sought after activity book are limited.

If like the 100% totality eclipse of 2017, Fort Donelson National Battlefield will be busy – with many spectators arriving early in the morning. Vehicle traffic will be restricted to allow for parallel parking along the main park road. Visitors are asked to follow the parking guidance of the park rangers and to pay special attention to others that may be around them – either on foot or in another vehicle. For a safe and enjoyable day, all are encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, bring water and snacks for the two-plus hour event, consider bringing a blanket or lawn chair, and to only view the sun/eclipse event through the provided safety glasses.

For questions or further information, please call the ranger office at 931-232-5706, extension 0.