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Illinois Department of Natural Resources Issues Eclipse Viewing Advisory for Giant City State Park

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has issued a warning regarding the viewing of the April 8 total solar eclipse at Giant City State Park. Despite being a prime location, the park presents several challenges for visitors, The Paducah Sun reported.

Giant City State Park, encompassing over 4,000 acres, is predominantly forested, offering limited sky visibility. Approximately 95% of the park is covered with trees, prompting IDNR to advise visitors to scout the location before the eclipse day to avoid unexpected viewing obstacles.

The park offers camping facilities, with 25 class A campsites in the main campground and 14 class C sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, while there are five shelters within the park, they have been fully reserved, and no overnight stays will be accommodated in these areas.

Parking is also on a first-come, first-served basis, with no overnight parking permitted. On the day of the eclipse, parking will be notably restricted. The park features five shelters with parking, six trailhead parking lots, and 18 miscellaneous lots, each varying in space and visibility.

For eclipse viewing, IDNR has designated fields at the Giant City Ball Diamond, North Bluff Field, Horse Camp Circle Drive, and Red Bud Flats along Stonefront Road. The department also warned that park entrances might close upon reaching full capacity to prevent overcrowding.

An informational booth by the Project Dynamic Eclipse Broadcast will be set up in front of the visitor center on the eclipse day. However, IDNR has announced no planned events for the day due to the expected dispersed crowds and limited site access.

Giant City State Park, located near Carbondale and nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, is celebrated for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities. The park offers camping, horseback riding, fishing, rappelling, and numerous hiking trails, including the popular Giant City Nature Trail with its “Giant City Streets” – massive sandstone bluffs formed 12,000 years ago.

Giant City Lodge, known for its rustic beauty, complements the natural surroundings of the park. It offers various cabin accommodations, a dining room, gift shop, lounge, and an outdoor swimming pool, enhancing the visitor experience at Giant City State Park.

Featured image by Giant City State Park (2017) via Illinois Department of Natural Resources 

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February 23, 2024 10:26 pm

This is really cool! Did you know that Giant City State Park offers designated fields for eclipse viewing and has a fantastic lodge and cabins? It’s a smart idea to pack some insect repellent and a picnic and soak in the beautiful scenery while enjoying the eclipse!

February 24, 2024 9:22 am

Planning to visit Giant City State Park for the eclipse? The park’s remarkable geological formations, like Giant City Nature Trail and the Devil’s Standtable, offer breathtaking vistas for eclipse viewing. Don’t forget to explore the lodge and restaurant for a convenient stay during the event.

Jason Murphy
Jason Murphy
March 17, 2024 11:15 am
Reply to  YaraField

You’ve got this! Remember to plan ahead and stay safe at Giant City State Park. Let’s soak in those spectacular views while enjoying the eclipse. We’re in for a treat!

February 24, 2024 11:44 am
Reply to  YaraField

I’m planning to visit Giant City for the eclipse! Yes, it’s going to be a wonderful experience.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Illinois Department of Natural Resources Issues Eclipse Viewing Advisory for Giant City State Park! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/illinois/illinois-department-of-natural-resources-issues-eclipse-viewing-advisory-for-giant-city-state-park/