No Eclipse Viewing Events Are Planned at Forest and Parking Space is Limited
By Bruce MacDonald, NC Forest Service
The North Carolina Forest Service reminds visitors who may be planning to visit DuPont State Recreational Forest on Monday, August 21, 2017, to view the solar eclipse, to be prepared and take common sense measures to stay safe.
Although there are no planned events at DuPont for the eclipse, it is anticipated there will be high visitation to the forest to view the phenomenon. Law enforcement officers and forest rangers will be on site to ensure forest rules are enforced to facilitate emergency responses and limit damage to natural forest communities.
“DuPont staff will prioritize public safety and natural resource protection,” said Jason Guidry, DuPont State Recreational Forest supervisor. “We will not issue any special-access permits for that day, and any previously issued ones will not be valid.”
Visitors are encouraged to be mindful of their vehicles.
“DuPont State Recreational Forest has less than 350 parking spaces available and roadside parking is not recommended due to safety concerns,” Guidry said. “Vehicles parked on the road are more vulnerable to theft, and also vehicles blocking access roads into the forest may be towed.”
There are no shelters on the forest, so if you’re caught outside in a thunderstorm, take the following precautions:
- Avoid isolated tall trees, hilltops, utility poles, cell phone towers, etc.
- Avoid open areas, such as fields. Never lie flat on the ground.
- Avoid water, and immediately get out of and away from bodies of water.
- Retreat to dense areas of smaller trees that are surrounded by larger trees, or retreat to low-lying areas such as valleys, ditches, but watch for flooding.
It’s also important that visitors are aware that overnight camping and campfires are strictly prohibited. Alcohol and intoxicating substances are also prohibited.
Visitors should follow the Boy Scout motto to “Be Prepared.” If you choose to visit the forest, bring your own food and water, there are no concessions. The NC Forest Service also wants to remind visitors that if you pack it in, pack it out. Please don’t leave trash behind.
Travelers looking for an alternative to visiting the forest, will find local businesses and organizations offering opportunities during the eclipse. For a list of these, see the Transylvania County Tourism Development Authority website at www.visitwaterfalls.com, or the Friends of DuPont Forest website at www.dupontforest.com.