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IPFS News Link • Outdoor Survival

"Aggressive Bears" Have Closed Part of the Appalachian Trail to Camping

• arclein

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy announced on Wednesday that the Forest Service had closed approximately 7 miles of the trail along the North Carolina/Tennessee border, spanning from Tanyard Gap to Deep Gap (NOBO miles 280.8 to 287.7), to camping after a number of hikers reported bear encounters. The closure includes a campsite at Rich Mountain, as well as the Spring Mountain Shelter. "All area visitors should use caution, pack out all trash and food scraps, and never leave food unattended," the ATC wrote. "Overnight hikers should plan their itineraries accordingly to avoid camping in this section or find an alternative route." Overly bold bruins have been a problem for hikers in North Carolina and Tennessee over the past several years, with a number of shelters and campsites closing temporarily after the food-conditioned animals began seeking out sustenance from hikers. In 2021, the USFS closed miles 451 to 464 of the AT in Tennessee to camping because of bear activity.