bear in tree

A CLEVER LOT — Black bears are good climbers, and have managed to retrieve food bags hung in trees by backpackers along a section of the Appalachian Trail In Haywood County in the Harmon Den area.

A bear activity alert has been issued along the Haywood County section of the Appalachian Trail.

Camping is temporarily prohibited along the trail in Haywood County — from the Big Creek area in the Smokies to Max Patch — because of a bear with cubs continuously coming too close to campers with food. The trail remains open to hiking.

While no injuries have been reported, encounters include bears taking down food bags hanging from a tree and riffling through camping supplies and gear.

The bears will often stay in the area of the incident for multiple hours and they have a large range that can extend several miles. This time of the year black bears are opportunistically looking for food that campers and trail users bring on their trips.

Multiple bear encounters have been reported in the Harmon Den area of the Pisgah National Forest in Haywood County.

Hikers are encouraged to use bear canisters to properly store food and other scented items such as toothpaste and deodorant. When storing food be sure to store it 100 yards or more away from campsites.

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