Maine Total Solar Eclipse 2024

On April 8th the moon will completely cover the sun in parts of Maine for 3 1/2 minutes in a total solar eclipse. Totality will be visible in parts of Maine and there are four days of family fun events planned in Houlton, Presque Isle, and Caribou. The event schedule and happenings in each of these towns is outlined below and Aroostook County is where you and the family will want to be leading up to April 8th.

The epicenter for the excitment is in Maine's Aroostook County as the path of totality is directly over the tiny town of Littleton near Houlton, Maine. The region has designated suggested viewing areas as Star Parks. The star parks promise good parking, facilities, entertainment, and awesome views of the sky!

Caribou and Preque Isle are located 42 miles north of Houlton equivalant to about a 50 minute drive. The three towns are connected by the worlds secound largest solar system model as the sun is at the Northern Maine Museum of Science and the Planet Pluto is near Interstate 95 in Houlton.

Driving Time to Houlton, Maine:

  • Bangor, Maine - 1 Hour, 40 Minutes
  • Portland, Maine - 3 Hours, 30 Minutes
  • Boston, Massachusetts - 5 Hours, 30 Minutes
  • Fly into Presque Isle International Airport

Star Parks & Viewing Areas

Viewing areas in Maine's Aroostook County are being designated as "Star Parks". These designated viewing areas in Caribou, Presque Isle, Mars Hill, Island Falls, Limestone and Houlton have been identified as great spots to view the eclipse and offer safe parking, trash recepticals, and restroom facilities. We have mapped the Star Parks in each of these towns for you below.

Houlton, Maine

Driving Directions

Smack in the middle of the path of totality, Houlton will experience one of the longest periods of darkness in the state of Maine. Houlton is on the exact center of the eclipse path and the last place to view it in the United States - "THE END IS HERE". Houlton, Maine has been declaired the best place to view the eclipse in all of Maine.

Houlton Star Parks & Shuttle:

Star Parks promise good parking and feature a free shuttle bus circuit that will stop at major parking areas and transport to the viewing hubs in and around Houlton 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and resume at 4:00pm after the total eclipse on April 8th.

Houlton's Star Studded Events:

Find a hotel in Houlton, Maine now. Rooms are filling up and VRBO, AirBnB, or Hipcamp are recommended alternatives.

Presque Isle, Maine

Driving Directions

Presque Isle is the largest city in Aroostook County, Maine's gigantic, northernmost county. There is ample lodging in this area and a bright downtown full of shops, restaurants, and bars. The City has planned great entertainment in anticipation of the eclipse that includes guided walking tours and family fun programming at the Northern Maine Museum of Science, Francis Malcolm Science Center, and the Maine Solar System Model at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Presque Isle Star Parks:

Star Parks promise good parking, restrooms, and trash recepticals.

Presque Isle's Star Studded Events:

Have an out-of-this-world adventure when you experience the 2024 total solar eclipse in the "Star City of the Northeast". Famouse scuplor, Henry Dean, placed an art Installation to mark the major event! Four days of events are planned with family fun, live entertainment, and vendors. The biggest event is the unveiling of the 3D Sun Model at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The Sun Model will be the largest structure in the Maine Solar System Model. While a drive to Presque Isle is beautiful, you can also fly into the Presque Isle International Airport on United Airlines or take the Cyr Bus Line.

Find a hotel in Presque Isle, Maine now. Rooms are filling up and VRBO, AirBnB, or Hipcamp are recommended alternatives.

Caribou, Maine

Driving Directions

Caribou is the most northeastern city in America and the second-largest city in Aroostook County. It's lively downtown area offers restaurant dining, movie theater, spas, quaint shops, and the famous bronze caribou statue. The primary hub of activity for events will take place around the Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center on Bennett Drive, the National Weather Service and Airport on Main Street, the downtown mall area on Sweden Street, and the walking path in the Collins Pond Area.

Caribou Star Parks:

Star Parks promise good parking, restrooms, and trash recepticals.

Four days of events are planned with family fun, live entertainment, and vendors. Getting to Caribou is a breeze by car or private aircraft and a quick drive from the Presque Isle International Airport or take the Cyr Bus Line.

Find a hotel in Caribou, Maine now. Rooms are filling up and VRBO, AirBnB, or Hipcamp are recommended alternatives.

Island Falls, Maine

Driving Directions

Island Falls, Maine was Theodore Roosevelt's favorite getaway. Roosevelt visited this area to camp, hunt, fish, snowshoe, and reflect in solitude. The allure remains the same to this day and the town is situated on I95 and along on the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Scenic Byway. Visit the early-1900s Tingley House, the Bev-Rand Potato House that contains local artifacts, and the Jail House Museum or Opera House. The town offers condo style lodging at Vacationland Estates and camping are options for overnight guests.

Island Falls Star Parks:

Star Parks promise good parking, restrooms, and trash recepticals.

The fun kicks off on Friday April 5th with family fun at the community center. Saturday and Sunday promise historic walkings tours, quilt show, and an amazing artisan fair! Getting to Island Falls is a breeze by car and a 1 hour, 30 minute drive from both Bangor International Airport to the sourth or Presque Isle International Airport to the north. The Cyr Bus Line makes stops in nearby Sherman, Patten, and Houlton.

Find a lodging in Island Falls, Maine now. Rooms are filling up and VRBO, AirBnB, or Hipcamp are recommended alternatives to traditional lodging.

Loring & Limestone, Maine

Driving Directions

Watch the eclipse from the tarmac in front of the famed Loring Arch Hanger. This is the largest single span hanger in the world and once housed B52 Bombers. The allure remains the same to this day and the town is situated near the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge - a place where nordic skiing will certainly be happening on April 8th. The Loring Air Museum will be open for tours and several civic organizations will be serving amazing community dinners. The town offers several lodging options including Nike Areas and the Bunker Inn, both featuring military themed lodging in modern comfort.

Loring & Limestone Star Park:

Star Parks promise good parking, restrooms, and trash recepticals.

Limestone's Star Studded Events:

Getting to Limestone is simple by car and a 25 minute drive from Presque Isle International Airport to the north. The Cyr Bus Line makes stops in nearby Caribou.

Find a lodging in Limestone, Maine now. Rooms are filling up and VRBO, AirBnB, or Hipcamp are recommended alternatives to traditional lodging.

How an Eclipse Affects the Weather

Aside from the weather being able to put a damper on seeing the eclipse, the eclipse itself may have four effects on the weather. With the sun’s light blocked from reaching the Earth during the total solar eclipse, the temperature can fall as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

As the temperature drops, shallow clouds may dissipate because they require heat and moisture to sustain themselves — while deeper storm clouds will be affected less. The lower temperature can also cause the atmosphere to shrink and stabilize, which slows down winds.

Maine Weather During the 2024 Eclipse

Early April means you will need a jacket. Temperatures in Aroostook County average a low of 27 degrees and a high of 40 degrees Fahrenheit in April. It is very likely soft snowpack will be on the ground and mud will be common. Waterproof footwear with warm socks is recommended and a hat a gloves is something you want to wear or keep in your bag. Soil on the shoulders of paved roads will be soft and it is advised not to park a car as sinking in saturated soils may occur. Dirt roads will be what locals call ‘soft’ which means a regular car could slide or become stuck in mud. Paved roads and parking areas are expected to largely be cleared of snow in anticipation of the visitors to the region however it is expected some visitors will venture off to rural parts of the region and it is highly advised to be cautious of mud, snow, and heavy traffic. Respect landowner property and leave no trace.

Look Out for ME! Visit safely and respect private landowners

Lodging Information

Traditional lodging at hotels and motels will be at full occupancy. If a hotel in your destination area does not have vacancy it is suggested that traditional lodging can be found by contacting hotels north of Interstate I95 such as in Caribou, Portage, Washburn, Van Buren, Madawaska and Fort Kent. Find a hotel now. Hotel rooms are filling up, but VRBO and AirBnB are common here. Campgrounds are typically not open this time of year, however several will open for just for the eclipse. RVing guests may also consider Hipcamp to find camping areas.

Viewing Glasses

Free viewing glasses are available at State of Maine Visitor Information Centers and during the event at info booths in Island Falls, Houlton, and Presque Isle. You can purchase Houlton, Maine collector glasses in advance here.

Public Transportation

Heavy road congestion is expected around the I95 corridor in Houlton, Maine. Expect delays and watch for pedestrian traffic. Shuttle Buses will be circulating the star parks in Houlton and Presque Isle areas to move people between entertainment and viewing areas. Using this transportation will reduce traffic congestion. Due to the season of this event, it is likely mud will be a danger on dirt roads and the shoulders of paved roadways. Soft soils can cause cars to sink and get stuck.

  • Fly
  • Bus
    • Cyr Bus Lines operates in northern Maine with stops and service to Houlton, Presque Isle, and Caribou from both Boston, Portland, and Bangor.
  • Taxi
    • There are many taxi services available in Houlton, Presque Isle, and Caribou, Maine. It is estimated it could be difficult to rely on taxi services during this large scale event.
  • Rideshare
    • Popular rideshare services do opperate in Houlton, Presque Isle, and Caribou, Maine. However there are very few drivers and during this event it is expected to be difficult to rely on.
  • Train
    • Passanger rail service does not exist in northern Maine.

Public Safety

Law Enforcement will be taken very seriously. Local police will work collaboratively with State Police and US Customs and Border Patrol to ensure public safety.

  • Expect Traffic Delays
  • There is an increased level of security to this rural area for this event
  • The US Border Patrol will enforce all laws
  • Maine Game Wardens Will be monitoring activity
  • Increased local and state police presence
  • Delays in boarder crossing is expected
  • Longer than normal wait times for dining and sit down service
  • Informational billboards are in place to direct traffic
  • Respect detours around pedestrian heavy areas

Regional Planners & Direct Contacts

State of Maine Area

  • Chiara Mariconi
  • Chiara.Moriconi@maine.gov
  • +1(207) 624-9809
  • www.visitmaine.com

Aroostook County Area

Island Falls Area

Houlton Area

Presque Isle Area

Caribou Area

Limestone/Loring Area


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