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Watch the April total solar eclipse in Texas at these parks

Why is it called the “Ring of Fire,” you ask? This photo shows a brilliant example of the Sun’s corona orbiting the Moon during the 2017 total solar eclipse over the United States.

Jorge Villalba/Getty Images

There will be a total solar eclipse in Texas on April 8th. The moon will obscure the entire sun, making it look and feel like twilight for a few special minutes. Texas residents and visitors can watch the rare event along a line across from Del Rio to Texarkana.

Over 30 Texas parks face April’s total solar eclipse. The total time can range from a few seconds to around 4.5 minutes, depending on where you are on the trail. Only those in the path of totality will experience the full experience of a solar eclipse. Here are the following parks near San Antonio where you can be in the path of totality and how to prepare for this rare event.

Guadalupe River State Park

Guadalupe River State Park is hosting a solar eclipse viewing event. The entire park will be open for a total of 3 minutes and 13 seconds starting at 1:33 p.m. Without a pre-purchased day pass or camping permit, you will not be able to enter the park on Eclipse Day.

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You can reserve day passes up to a month in advance of your visit and campsites can be booked up to five months in advance. According to the park’s events page, a 2-night minimum stay is required for this weekend.

A limited supply of ISO certified solar eclipse goggles will be available for sale at park headquarters.

Find it: 3350 Park Road 31, Spring Branch, TX 78070 (approximately 44 minutes north of San Antonio)

Government Canyon State Park

There will be no solar eclipse event at Government Canyon State Park. However, it is the Texas State Park that is closest to San Antonio and where you can view the solar eclipse. The park is hosting a guided hike on April 6, a few days before the eclipse. The walking tour will explore solar eclipse legends, lore and science.

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According to the park’s events page, you can hike and learn about solar eclipse facts and fiction. The hiking distance is approximately 6 miles and includes uneven terrain and moderate elevation changes. It is open to ages 10 and up. Minors must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.

Find it: 12861 Galm Road, San Antonio, TX 78254

Hill Country State Natural Area

Just northwest of San Antonio, you can explore over 5,000 acres of rugged canyons, scenic plateaus and tranquil streams at the former ranch now called Hill Country State Natural Area.

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There is no event schedule for the day of the solar eclipse, but it is in the path of totality. The park offers easy camping, backpacking, nature viewing and multi-use trails. Trails range from easy to challenging, from one-mile walks to mile-long hikes.

Find it: 10600 Bandera Creek Road, Bandera, TX 78003 (about an hour and 12 minutes northwest of San Antonio)

Garner State Park

Garner State Park is a great place for swimming, hiking or a relaxing weekend. With 2.9 miles of the Frio River winding through 1,774 acres of scenic Hill Country terrain, the park offers plenty to see and do.

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There is no event page for the eclipse yet, but it’s worth booking in advance if possible.

Find it: 234 RR 1050, Concan, TX 78838 (about an hour and 30 minutes west of San Antonio)

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area lies in the path of totality. As of Wednesday, January 17, no event has been posted. However, it’s worth booking in advance as the park is a popular destination for San Antonio and Austin.

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It is known for its massive pink granite dome that towers over Central Texas. The Summit Trail is a perfect vantage point to capture the rare solar eclipse.

Find it: 16710 RR 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624 (approximately an hour and 30 minute drive northwest of San Antonio)

Blanco State Park

Blanco State Park has not posted anything about a solar eclipse event as of Wednesday, January 17th. However, the small park is worth the trip from San Antonio. In addition to being in the path of totality, it is also home to a one-mile stretch of the Blanco River. Activities include swimming, fishing, paddling, hiking and more.

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The park is an easy drive from Austin and San Antonio. Several small towns nearby, including Blanco, offer restaurants, museums, and shopping.

Find it: 101 Park Road 23, Blanco, TX 78606 (approximately 54 minutes north of San Antonio)

Lost Maples State Natural Area

You may know Lost Maples for its fall color, but it is spectacular year-round. In spring, you can catch numerous wildflowers and admire the steep canyon walls and the scenic Sabinal River.

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There is no event for the eclipse yet, but it’s worth camping in parks or getting a day pass to watch the eclipse.

Find it: 37221 FM 187, Vanderpool, TX 78885 (approximately one hour and 46 minutes northwest of San Antonio)

McKinney Falls State Park

McKinney Falls State Park is also on the path to totality but has not yet reported a solar eclipse event. It is known for its Onion Creek, which flows over limestone outcroppings and trickles into ponds. You can also explore the remains of an early Texas homestead and a very old rock shelter.

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You can also camp, hike, mountain bike, road bike and picnic at McKinney Falls.

Find it: 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway, Austin, TX 78744 (approximately one hour and 22 minutes northeast of San Antonio)

Source: www.mysanantonio.com

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Melissa Foster

Human stories explorer. Shedding light on unique narratives that resonate with diverse audiences.

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