On Monday, Aug. 21, residents and visitors across Illinois will be treated to a rare celestial event – a solar eclipse. While everyone in the contiguous U.S. will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, weather permitting, those in a 70-mile wide path across 14 states (including southern Illinois) will see a total eclipse, in which the moon will completely block the sun for up to 2 minutes and 44 seconds. In fact, the point of greatest duration for the eclipse will be a point in the Shawnee National Forest.​

Excitement about the eclipse has been building across the nation for many months. Numerous events are planned in southern Illinois to mark the total solar eclipse. More than 100,000 people are expected to visit the path of totality in the region during the days leading up to the event and, of course, on the day of the eclipse.
State and local agencies have been working together for nearly a year on plans to ensure everyone can safely enjoy this exciting event. This page connects you to information to help you safely enjoy the solar eclipse and make memories to last a lifetime.​
Tips for Preparedness
  • The Illinois State Police expects the Interstate 57, U.S. Route 51, and Illinois Route 13 corridors to be among the most highly traveled during the eclipse weekend through Tuesday, August 22nd.  Local travelers should seek alternate routes where applicable.
  • Motorists traveling these routes should plan ahead for extra traffic congestion and allow additional travel time.  Check or real-time traffic apps for local information before you leave.
  • Because of the darkness created by the passing shadow, it is a good idea to turn on your vehicle’s headlights.  Also, do not rely on the Auto feature of your vehicle to do it for you.  Manually activate your headlights to ensure they are functioning.
  • Do not drive with your Solar Eclipse viewing glasses on or try to take photographs while driving.  The roof of the car will block out the harmful rays from your eyes.  The glasses are only needed while looking directly at the sun.  For additional specific information on viewing safety, check
  • Get your Solar Eclipse viewing glasses early as supplies may dry up as the eclipse approaches.  Make sure they are of good quality as well because looking directly at the sun will permanently damage your eyes.  For additional information regarding the level of protection needed for safe viewing, visit
  • DO NOT stop along the highway to view the eclipse.  The shoulder is for emergency parking only.  Should there be an incident emergency responders need to get to, we will need the shoulders for ingress and egress.  Viewing should be from a safe location away from traffic. 
  • Watch for pedestrians!  Although discouraged, people may be parking and walking along roadways in the hour before the total eclipse to get the best viewing.



Extreme Heat Safety 

Camping Health and Safety

Car Safety (Fact Sheet for State and Local Departments of Transportation)

Food and Drink Safety 

Protection Against Distracted Driving 

Preparing for Hazards 

Safeguard Against Biological Hazards 

Crowd Safety 

Stay Safe in the Sun

Tips for Hikers


Online Resources


National Weather Service - Paducah, KY. - Eclipse Weather Site

llinois Department of Public Health - Health and Safety Tips

Illinois Department of Transportation - Travel Safety Webpage - IDOT Eclipse Preparation

Illinois Department of Agriculture - Camping and Entertainment Information

Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Campsite Reservations Webpage

NASA - Eclipse Information Website

VOX - Eclipse Information Website​ ​​​​​​​​​​​


Viewing Events in Franklin County

Event Location Time Sponsor
Trinity UMC Family Viewing Event 304 N Sunny Slope, West Frankfort, IL 62896 11:00 am - 3:00 pm

Trinity UMC

Rend Lake Areas - Open for Visitors to View South Sandusky Beach, Visitor Center, Spillway Event Area, North Marcum Day Use Area Anytime


Rend Lake Corps of Engineers

Morthland College  TBA