How to Have a Safe and Savvy Solar Eclipse

Sophie Oehler | April 5, 2024
Logo with eclipsed sun behind a mountain

Logo courtesy of 


If you’re planning on traveling to Northern New Hampshire for this week’s eclipse, you are certainly not alone.  

New Hampshire Department of Transportation predicts between 8,000-15,000 vehicles will make the trek North of the notches on April 8th for the lunar event, according to NBC10 Boston. Hotels and campgrounds have been fully booked for several months and North country businesses are bracing for a wave of visitors the weekend before the eclipse. And though we’re all excited for this once in a lifetime experience, we also want to take a moment to reflect on how this high volume of visitation might affect local spaces, people and wildlife.  

As you prepare for your travels into the path of totality, consider these tips on how to make your visit to the North country not only enjoyable, but respectful and responsible too.  

Attend front country events: Though heading to the beach or a mountaintop sounds like the perfect place for a front seat at the show, there’s a good chance that hundreds of other people have had the same idea. To reduce traffic on our natural areas, consider attending an eclipse event in the front country, where facilities are prepared for large crowds. Plus, this is the perfect way to immerse yourself in community life, interact with local businesses and maybe meet some new people! Check out this list of solar eclipse events in Northern NH, courtesy of VisitNH! 

Support local business: Northern NH runs on small businesses. During your visit, if you’re looking for a bite, a sip of coffee, or a cool souvenir, skip the corporate chains and head into a local shop or restaurant. 

If you do intend on visiting the backcountry for the eclipse, we advise the following:  

Purchase a Hike Safe card: The mountains can be an unpredictable place, and even experienced hikers can often find themselves unprepared. By purchasing a Hike Safe card and becoming certified in the Hike Safe responsibility code through New Hampshire Fish and Game, you help to educate yourself and others on the basics of recreating safely in the outdoors and reduce the amount of search and rescue missions that NHFG performs each year. With increased traffic on the mountains during the eclipse, there’s a higher likelihood that someone will require assistance from one of those rescue teams. Don’t let it be you! For more information, and to purchase your card, visit NHFG's Hiking Safety page

Follow Leave No Trace Principles: While visiting our scenic landscapes for a truly stunning view, make sure you are doing your part to leave that view exactly as you found it. Pick up trash (whether it belongs to you or not), respect others’ space around you, stay on trail to reduce erosion and leave the local wildlife to enjoy the eclipse in peace! We encourage you to familiarize yourself with Leave No Trace principles before heading out into the woods this week!

Donate at the trail head: The trails up mountains, around lakes and through the flatlands that will serve as transportation to your eclipse vista take a lot of time, effort, and money to maintain. If you are able, consider donating a few dollars at whatever trail head you park at, so that the organizations that steward the land will be able to ensure that these paths will be around for the next eclipse in the US — which won’t be until 2044, but who’s counting? 

Overall: Practice Kindness!  

Getting to see a solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime experience. Let’s celebrate the specialness of the moment by giving the same appreciation we give to this natural phenomenon to the people and places we share it with. Be calm, be kind, and happy eclipse!