Bears in the Park

American Black Bear

American Black Bear (Photo credit: siwild)

Many people talk about the bears they see in and around Smoky Mountain National Park.  Apparently black bears are plentiful in the mountains, but I’ve yet to see one.  We had a bear sighting last summer from people staying in our cabin, Southern Serenity.  But we’ve never seen one there.

If you ask folks in the area where to see bear they’ll tell you Cades Cove is your best bet.  We’ve been there a number of times; early, mid, and late in the day, no bear.  I’ve gone hiking in the park at the crack of dawn hoping to see bear, no such luck.

I’m starting to think it’s one of those things where we are just not seeing them, even though they are there.  Perhaps once we see one we’ll know how to spot them.  There is an organization in the area that rescues, rehabilitates, and releases bears back into the wild.  Appalachian Bear Rescue does good work and helps to educate the public about these fabulous creatures.

The author of this article from USA Today reports seeing bear on his first trip to the park, as well as talking to lots of people who’ve seen lots of bear.  Good for them.  Maybe someday we’ll get lucky and see a bear.  Have you seen a black bear in The Great Smoky Mountains?  Any tips on where or how to spot them?

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