2024 Total Eclipse of the Park

2024 Solar Eclipse FAQs

Everything you need to know about the total solar eclipse and viewing at Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation.

From our Parks & Natural Resources team

On April 8, Indiana will experience a solar eclipse and you’ll be able to see it right here in Carmel. The eclipse will last about 3 minutes and 29 seconds here in Hamilton County, IN. When you are viewing this remarkable phenomenon, while wearing your protective glasses of course, take a moment to think about just how special this passing of the Moon directly in front of the Sun is.

One reason for this being a unique occurrence, that on average occurs in the same location every 375 years, is the apparent size of the Moon and Sun from our viewpoint on Earth. While we know that the Moon is much smaller than the Sun, some 400 times smaller, it is also 400 times closer in distance to us, making the two appear to be the same size in the sky and allowing the Moon to perfectly cover the Sun when they cross paths. If the Moon were any larger or closer to us, eclipses wouldn’t be as rare, and if it were smaller or farther away from us, total eclipses would not be possible.

You don’t have to keep your eyes to the sky to experience this eclipse, you can take notice of the natural space around you, too. Most animals have a circadian rhythm, or internal clock, that relies on the light-dark cycle in structuring their activities – letting them know when to forage, sleep, migrate, and breed.

During a total eclipse, confusion in wildlife occurs. If they are diurnal, or active during the day, they might start their nighttime routines early, whereas nocturnal animals think it’s time to wake up. You may notice crickets chirping, birds going to roost, spiders breaking down their webs, and bats coming out from their resting spots during the totality of the eclipse.

Additional fun facts!

  • The next time Indiana will be in the path of totality for a solar eclipse is 2099!  
  • Only 43 million people live in the path of totality for the 2024 solar eclipse. That’s only 0.5 percent of the world’s population.  
  • There are five stages of a solar eclipse: partial eclipse, shadow bands, bailey’s beads, diamond ring, and totality. Learn more about the five stages here 

Did you enjoy this fun nature content courtesy of our Parks & Natural Resources team? Keep learning and exploring with our seasonal nature programs.

Explore Our Nature Programs 

Viewing with CCPR – Things to know

CCPR invites you to view the eclipse at the park! Here are some things you should know if you decide to visit us on April 8. 


The parking lots of the following parks will close on Sunday, April 7 at 5 p.m. and reopen at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 8. Parking at CCPR parks will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Once the following parking lots are full they will be closed. Reentry is not guaranteed. Please note that parking in the grass and overnight parking are prohibited at all park locations. 

What to expect?

Are you planning to view the eclipse from one of our parks? Keep reading for helpful information to ensure you have an enjoyable, safe, and convenient experience.  

Get here early

Visitors from all over the world will be visiting Carmel during the eclipse. It will be crowded. We recommend you arrive early and stay put – our parking lots will close once they reach capacity, and reentry is not guaranteed. 

Come prepared

Before leaving home for the day, make sure you are prepared. Top off your gas tank, pack snacks and water, and bring portable phone chargers. Please note that most park drinking fountains are still winterized at this time.

Cellular service

With so many people coming to watch the eclipse, cell service might be spotty. When possible, text rather than call. 


Park restroom buildings will be closed but portable restrooms will be available. 

Watch for orange shirts

CCPR staff dressed in orange t-shirts will be at each park listed above to maintain capacity. Please follow their instructions while visiting our parks. 

Take everything with you when you leave

Help our staff and support our local habitat by taking everything with you when you leave. Our staff and the plants and animals that call our parks home thank you for cleaning up your trash and other litter.  

General tips & info 

Before viewing the total eclipse, it’s crucial to understand the timings, safety measures, and the optimal viewing locations to make the most of this unforgettable experience.

  • What is a total solar eclipse? According to NASA, a solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. This casts a shadow that either fully or partially blocks the sun’s light. On April 8, you will be able to view a total solar eclipse in Carmel.  
  • What time is the eclipse? The sky will begin to change at 1:50 p.m. The eclipse will be in totality starting at 3:06 p.m. and it will last about three minutes. 
  • Viewing the eclipse safely: It is not safe to look at the eclipse directly without proper eye protection. Doing so can cause “eclipse blindness,” temporary or permanent retinal burns. You should only view the eclipse through “eclipse glasses” that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard 
  • View from home if possible: A large portion of Indiana is in the path of totality, including Hamilton County. Viewers in Hamilton County will experience 100 percent totality. If you live in the zone of totality, we recommend viewing the eclipse from your porch or backyard to avoid traffic.  
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