Kentucky Eclipse

Are you traveling to see the eclipse and wondering where the best place to watch the 2017 Eclipse in Kentucky?  Do you know where you are going to watch the eclipse at, but have no idea what the area looks like?  We have created videos of the most popular routes in Southwest Kentucky where the Eclipse will be the greatest to help you plan your Kentucky drive and to find the best place to watch the 2017 Eclipse.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY
There is a traffic advisory for Interstate 24 and Purchase Parkway – Learn More

On Monday, August 21, 2017, most of North America will be treated to a rare total solar eclipse.  According to all reports, the best place to watch will be along a stretch of Kentucky Highway 91 near Hopkinsville.  However, there are many other places you can watch the 2017 Eclipse in Kentucky.

The total eclipse will arrive at 1:20 p.m. CDT on August 21. The partial eclipse will start about an hour before the total eclipse and will continue on until about an hour after the total eclipse has ended.  We recommend you have a place to be well ahead of the eclipse and be there as early as sunrise.  By all accounts, traffic will be nightmarish at best.  KYTC is comparing it to Louisville Traffic during the Kentucky Derby — on 2 lane highways — so pretty congested at all points.

As of this writing, MOST hotels and reservable campsites in the area have been booked.  You may find some, but will be paying a small fortune for them.  If you are staying in the periphery of the area, make sure you leave early enough to get to your planned viewing spot in time.

TRAFFIC WILL BE A MAJOR ISSUE:  PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

We cannot stress this enough.  If you have a bad case of road rage, stay home or take some heart medication — this won’t be pretty for you.  If you don’t like large crowds — this may not be for you.

Major routes in the area where the eclipse will be visible are:

  • Any exit or rest area along I-24
  • US-62 from Paducah – Dawson Springs
  • US-68 from Aurora to Elkton
  • Interstate 69 from I-24 to the Pennyrile Parkway
  • Pennyrile Parkway from I-24 to I-69
  • Any of the state highways in between.

A few reminders to help you watch the eclipse safely.

  • Don’t stop along the interstate or park on the shoulder during the event.
  • Exit the highway to a safe location to view or photograph the eclipse.
  • Don’t take photographs while driving!  Why would you want to drive during the eclipse anyway?
  • Don’t try to wear opaque eclipse glasses while operating a vehicle.
  • Turn your headlights on — do not rely on your automatic headlights when the eclipse blocks out the sun.
  • Watch out for pedestrians along smaller roads. People may be randomly parking and walking alongside the roadside in the hours around the eclipse to get the best view.
  • Prepare for extra congestion especially on the interstates in the path on the day before, day of and the day after the eclipse.
  • Avoid travel during the eclipse or in the area of the main path if you can.

Since this is such a rare opportunity, we are making a special trip to Kentucky for this event and will be live-streaming the eclipse from our viewing station with some friends on our YouTube channel.

To watch a video in full screen, click the video’s title.  Exit links are provided by a 3rd party and we cannot vouch for their accuracy.

KYTC Press Conference 8/18/17
Stuff to Blow Your Mind: Path of Totality
i-24

Interstate 24

DO NOT PARK ON THE INTERSTATE TO WATCH THE ECLIPSE — YOU WILL BE TICKETED

Suitable exits for viewing on I-24 include:

All of these interchanges include restroom and fuel facilities near the exit at the minimum, most have food options as well.

Traffic ADVISORY 7-19-17

Starting Monday, July 24, 2017, the NORTHBOUND Purchase Parkway RAMP to I-24 EASTBOUND (Purchase Parkway Exit 52-A Ramp) will be closed to traffic.  Northbound parkway traffic seeking to travel east on I-24 will follow a marked detour to US 62 at Calvert City, then east on US 62 to connect with the I-24 eastbound lanes via the US 62 Calvert City Exit 27 interchange.

This ramp has already been partially relocated.  However, this closure of the northbound Purchase Parkway ramp to Interstate 24 eastbound lanes is to allow earth work to finish out the connection for the new Interstate 69 northbound ramp to I-24 westbound and to US 62 in Calvert City.

This ramp closure is part of a larger work zone along I-24 in Marshall County between the 25 and 27 mile marker and along the Purchase Parkway between the 49 and 52 mile marker at the I-24 Exit 25 Interchange.  Reconstruction of the Exit 25 interchange is aimed at allowing I-69 to be extended southward along the parkway in the future.

Other ramp closures at I-24 Exit 25 and I-24/US 62 Exit 27 remain in place with marked detours.

The work zone includes a 55 mile per hour speed limit with an enhanced enforcement presence and double fines for citations.  Some of the crossovers and more restricted sections of the parkway in this work zone have a 45 mile per hour work zone speed limit for safety.

As a reminder, both eastbound and westbound I-24 traffic is running on a diversion through this work zone between I-24 Exit 25 and Exit 27.  This construction corridor has a high level of ongoing construction activity.  Appropriate caution is required.

From the West

From the East

i-69

Interstate 69

DO NOT PARK ON THE INTERSTATE TO WATCH THE ECLIPSE.  We are including Interstate video to help you plan your route to the best viewing areas for the 2017 eclipse.

Suitable exits for viewing on I-69 include:

  • 92
  • 81
  • 79
  • 71

All of these interchanges include restroom and fuel facilities near the exit at the minimum, most have food options as well.

From the North

From the South

ky91

Kentucky Highway 91

Where is Kentucky 91? Coming from the south, take Interstate 24 north to the Pennyrile Parkway, then US-68 Bypass and KY-1682 to loop around the west side of Hopkinsville where you can turn north onto KY-91.  From the north, take Interstate 69 (formerly Western Kentucky Parkway) to exit 79 in Princeton, head south a few blocks to Main Street and turn left.

The vast majority of KY-91 is not really suitable for parking to watch the eclipse.  There are a few churches and a school along the way, but the vast majority of this route is rural residential properties, so parking in someone’s field is discouraged and may get you arrested.  Be sure to check with the property owner before parking along this route to avoid trouble.  Also, there really aren’t any facilities along this route, so make sure you get any supplies in Hopkinsville or Princeton before heading out.

From the North

From the South

US_68

U.S. Highway 68

U.S. Highway 68 From Aurora, just west of the Land Between the Lakes, to Elkton, east of Hopkinsville.  Includes Cadiz and Hopkinsville.  No services along this route, but there are a few places you can pull off to potentially see the eclipse.  The bridge over the lake is by far the best place, but you will need to be there at sunup to get a spot there.  Just fair warning — THIS ROUTE WILL BE PACKED.

From the West

From the East

U.S. Highway 62

U.S. Highway 62

U.S. Highway 68 From Paducah to Dawson Springs offers a few places to stop and watch the eclipse — not many, but a few.  There are a few residences along this route, so please don’t park on someone’s property.

From the West

pennyrile parkway small

Pennyrile Parkway

Pennyrile Parkway from Interstate 24 to Interstate 69

DO NOT PARK ON THE PARKWAY TO WATCH THE ECLIPSE.  We are including Parkway video to help you plan your route to the best viewing areas for the 2017 eclipse.

Suitable exits for viewing on then Pennyrile Parkway include:

All of these interchanges include restroom and fuel facilities near the exit at the minimum, most have food options as well.

From the North

From the South

woodland trace

Woodlands Trace Nat'l Scenic Byway

Woodlands Trace — any available legal spot in Land Between the Lakes.  Check with Forest Service and at Ranger Station for availability.

North From U.S. Highway 68

Recently, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) released a press release regarding the Eclipse:

…The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is helping plan for potential traffic issues that might result from thousands of visitors flocking to the area.

“We anticipate that a majority of the visitors will filter into the eight-county region over the two or three days before the eclipse,” said Wade Clements, KYTC District 2 chief engineer. “Once the eclipse is over, we are expecting traffic issues akin to what Louisville faces before and after the Kentucky Derby or Thunder Over Louisville. We urge motorists to plan ahead before traveling to or through the region the day of the eclipse.”

With the increased number of visitors in the area, there is potential for gridlock along [the] Interstate 24 corridor through Kentucky and along KY 91 between Princeton and Hopkinsville. Expect local roadways to become heavily congested as well. In an effort to minimize traffic delays, KYTC is partnering with local law enforcement, Kentucky State Police, and emergency planning agencies to assist with traffic control before, during and after the event.

Local and state officials are asking visitors who plan to travel to view the eclipse and people who live within the eight counties in the total eclipse zone to be fully prepared for what they will encounter.

State officials provided the following list of specific recommendations for eclipse watchers:

  • Choose a specific place to watch the eclipse. If you stop randomly along area highways, you can be issued a citation for impeding traffic. Parking along the right of way creates a number of hazards.
  • Restroom facilities will be at a premium. Pick a viewing location with appropriate facilities.
  • Bring an ample supply of food and water for the duration of your planned stay.
  • Have a specific place to stay – Either a hotel room or appropriate campsite.
  • Be prepared for traffic delays. Thousands of visitors may create traffic gridlock at some critical intersections and interchanges, particularly along the I-24 corridor and KY 91 corridor.

KYTC and KYEM will provide additional information and traffic advisories as the eclipse date approaches.

For up-to-date Kentucky traffic and travel information, visit www.goky.ky.gov

Planning a trip to the area for the 2017 Eclipse?  We hope you will use our videos to plan your travel when you Drive America’s Highways and as always, safe and happy travels.

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