March 5, 2024

Augusta, MAINE – With Maine set to experience its first total eclipse of the sun in decades, Governor Janet Mills and the Maine Office of Tourism are urging residents and visitors to plan ahead to make sure their glimpse of the once-in-a-generation event is safe and successful.

On April 8, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun, completely blocking the face of the sun from the earth. In nearly half of Maine, the total eclipse will be visible for up to three-and-a-half minutes—one of the longest totality observation times in North America.

“Maine is the best spot in New England and one of the best places in North America to catch a glimpse of celestial history this April. Our state is ready to welcome stargazers from across the world to witness this once-in-a-generation event,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I encourage Maine people and visitors to our state to make an observation plan and order eclipse glasses now so that they are ready to safely witness this extraordinary event.”

“Maine will offer an unparalleled eclipse experience. While a total eclipse is a rare occurrence, every trip to Maine can be a once-in-a-generation event,” said Steve Lyons, Director of the Maine Office of Tourism. “I encourage visitors to take advantage of the many eclipse-themed events across our state, and to take time to experience some of Maine’s renowned food and culture on their journeys north and south.”

Maine is one of just thirteen states where the total solar eclipse will be visible and offers more opportunities to view the eclipse than any other state in the region. Parts of northern and western Maine are expected to be in the path of totality for the eclipse, although more than 90 percent of the event will be visible in all parts of the state.

Maine state agencies are working closely with one another and municipalities across the state to accommodate the expected influx of visitors.

The Maine Office of Tourism has launched a special webpage to help those planning to view the eclipse to plan their day. The page, which features a map of totality, safety tips, community events, and information about accommodation packages can be found here.

The Maine Office of Tourism urges observers to be mindful of the weather, which is unpredictable in April. Additionally, as much of the path of totality will cut across rural areas, visitors should keep in mind that the spot they choose to view the eclipse may be far from services and lodging. With thousands of visitors expected to travel to Maine for the eclipse, lodging in these areas is already in short supply.

To ensure that observers have a successful eclipse viewing experience, the Maine Office of Tourism has issued these essential guidelines:

  • Wear eclipse glasses while viewing to protect eyes from harmful solar radiation.
  • Stay on paved roads to ensure safe travel to and from viewing locations.
  • Be prepared for increased traffic and the possibility of backups on rural roads.
  • Have an emergency kit in your vehicle.
  • Do not rely on GPS in rural areas.
  • If weather conditions allow for safe hiking, remain on clearly marked trails to avoid getting lost or injured.
  • Obtain permission before accessing privately owned land for optimal viewing locations.
  • Monitor the forecast and dress appropriately for the weather, as conditions may be winter-like.
  • Research your destination and secure lodging reservations well in advance to avoid last-minute inconveniences.

Many towns in the path of totality are preparing events to coincide with the eclipse. Rangeley is celebrating the Shadow of the Sun Festival from April 5-8, with activities including Sound Bathing Under the Stars and Night Sky Trivia.

Visitors to Aroostook County can also experience another celestial journey – the Maine Solar System Model which is the largest 3-D scale model of the solar system in the western hemisphere, and it extends for nearly 100 miles along U.S. Route 1, from the Sun at University Maine at Presque Isle to the dwarf planet Eris in Topsfield.

Houlton will feature live music, the Blackfly Brewfest, solar system bus tours and more. A weather balloon will livestream the event to movie theaters in case of clouds.

In the Carrabassett Valley, eclipse fans can take part in the Sugarloaf Skiclipse.

An eclipse-themed road race in Millinocket was named by the New York Times in its 52 Places to Go recommended worldwide travel destinations for 2024.

Visitors traveling to communities in the path of totality can find MOT recommended stops along the way and ideas for extending your stay at VisitMaine.com.

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About Maine Office of Tourism
As part of the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development, the Maine Office of Tourism (MOT) promotes Maine as a tourism destination and works to support and expand the state’s tourism industry. Key programs of MOT include an integrated marketing and PR campaign that leverages the core natural and cultural assets of Maine to attract visitors to the state. To learn more, go to VisitMaine.com


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