Mount Mitchell State Park  »  Black Bear Awareness

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Black Bear Awareness

Backcountry Camping and Hiking Safety

Foraging bears have been active and sometimes aggressive at the Commissary Ridge area. Bear-resistant food canisters or storage sacks are highly advised, otherwise food must be hung correctly at least 150 feet away from tent. Food bags should hang 5- feet below the branch, 5-feet from the tree trunk, and be at least 10-feet off the ground. Bears can and will climb trees and can easily reach food bags suspended at heights under 10 feet.

Failing to behave properly places you and your fellow visitors at risk for property damage and severe personal injury.

Black bears have been active in and around the park, inflicting damage to vehicles and camping equipment. All of these incidents have resulted from the improper storage of food, toiletries and trash. You must secure all food, garbage, and any items that might smell like food to a bear (toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, cosmetics, pet food, cooking and cleaning supplies, stove fuel, etc.) in the bear-proof storage container available at each campground site.

Never feed bears. They can lose their fear of people and may have to be destroyed.

Never leave food unattended, even if in coolers. Secure only in bear-proof container or car trunk with windows completely rolled up.