August Eclipse Coming to the Smokies This Summer!

It’s not often we have a special event to look forward to at the end of August (unless the kids going back to school counts!) but 2017 gives us a nice surprise that you’ll be able to witness all over the Smokies and especially gorgeous Douglas Lake (and our many lakeside houses).

On August 21st, a partial eclipse will present itself from 1:00PM to 4:00PM with maximum viewing somewhere in the middle at about 2:38PM. As you probably know, there aren’t many eclipses to expect on the calendar year, especially one that goes over the Smoky Mountains, so there are already quite a few people organizing ways to help see it and even viewing parties inside the National Park towards Gatlinburg and Townsend, TN.

The National Park website itself says this:

“Visitors may view the eclipse from other areas of the park on your own, though due to the influx of eclipse viewers during the already-busy season, the Park Service may need to close certain areas on August 21st to reduce gridlock, which may include Newfound Gap Road and Cades Cove.

Furthermore, our educational partner, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, is planning a special multi-day Science Camp for high school aged students over the eclipse weekend and event.”

You can see more information from the National Park Service at

You can also build a simple card projector using these instructions from

DIY: Simple Card Projector
The simplest and quickest way to safely project the Sun is with a projector made from only 2 pieces of card or paper.

You Need:
* 2 pieces of stiff white cardboard, e.g. 2 paper plates
alternatively, 2 sheets of plain white paper
* a thumbtack, a sharp pin or a needle.

What to Do:
Diagram of a DIY pinhole projector.
The concept of a pinhole projector ©

To make a quick version of the pinhole projector, take a sheet of paper and make a tiny hole in the middle of it using a pin or a thumbtack. Make sure that the hole is round and smooth.

With your back towards the Sun, hold 1 piece of paper above your shoulder allowing the Sun to shine on the paper.

The 2nd sheet of paper will act as a screen. Hold it at a distance, and you will see an inverted image of the Sun projected on the paper screen through the pinhole.

To make the image of the Sun larger, hold the screen paper further away from the paper with the pinhole.

A box projector works on the same principles, it requires a little more time and a few extra items to construct, but it is more sturdy.

Keep Safe! Never look at the Sun directly without protective eye gear. Even sunglasses cannot protect your eyes from the damage the Sun’s rays can do to them.

We can’t wait to get to see it! If you’d like to have a lakeside cabin for this viewing event, make your reservation with us today!