Francis Marion National Forest prepares for August’s Solar Eclipse

Release Date: Jul 11, 2017   Huger, SC

Contact(s): Pamela Baltimore

It’s been over 99 years since the last total solar eclipse was visible coast to coast in the U.S. The Francis Marion National Forest is preparing for this year’s highly anticipated Solar Eclipse on August 21.  The Buck Hall Recreation Area located off of U.S. Route 17 (northwest of Charleston) will have a small area opened for viewing.  However, the popular camping area will be closed on August 20-21 and will be open for day use, starting at 8 a.m.  Rhea Whalen, Francis Marion District Ranger advises, “We expect an increase in traffic and visitation during this time and encourage you to plan accordingly.”

Buck Hall Recreation Area Details for August 20-21:

  • Gates will close the evening before at 2100 (it is typically open 24/7)
  • No food is available on site
  • First come first served
  • $5 day use fee/vehicle
  • 150 vehicle maximum, encourage carpooling
  • Pets are allowed, but must be restrained at all times
  • Make a plan. Know your destination and points in between where you may need to access services. 
  • Learn about Forest Service maps and how they can help you. Don’t rely on your electronic device alone.
  • Be prepared even if water, food and amenities are available. Always carry more food and water than you need along with first aid supplies and extra clothing. Take a tip from our young scouts: always be prepared.

“There are alternatives for large families and groups to consider viewing at venues in Charleston and Columbia as well. We will have to limit the number of vehicles to the Buck Hall Recreation area on a first-come, first-serve basis,” according to Erica Wadl, Francis Marion Natural Resource Specialist.

For more information on the Solar Eclipse in South Carolina, please visit these links below: