Great Smoky Mountains Wilderness Week

Posted by David  
Filed under Things to do, Wildlife

The Great Smoky Mountains are home to an amazing array of wild animals and some of those most beautiful vistas in the United States. We share the Park with black bears, deer, elk and more. Wilderness Wildlife Week in the Great Smoky Mountains begins Saturday, January 9th 2010 – it’s an annual event that pays tribute to the National Park and to Mother Nature in general.

Locals and visitors come to the Park every time this year to celebrate this precious place. About 150 experts — rangers from the National Park Service, biologists, botanists, nature photographers, animal rehabilitators and Smoky Mountains residents — donate their time to present lectures, classes, photography shows, musical performances and demonstrations.

Wilderness Week is a free event and runs through January 16. Most of the activities can be found in Pigeon Forge, but there will be signs of celebration all throughout the park. It’s important to remember how scared the Smokies are and we shouldn’t take them for granted.

Home of the Black Bear

Posted by David  
Filed under Wildlife

black bear

The Great Smoky Mountains have the largest black bear population east of the Mississippi River. Bears are truly amazing amazing. They are beautiful, yet extremely powerful. Seeing a black bear in the wild can frighten some people to death, while others it makes your vacation all worthwhile. As long as you know how to handle yourself in the wild, seeing a black bear shouldn’t be terrifying.

Have you ever been walking a trail or picnicking at a campsite in the Smokies and seen one of those funny looking garbage cans? Those are supposed to be bear proof! Surprisingly enough, anywhere you find food is still one of the most popular places to find a black bear in the GRSM. But seeing a black bear walking down the street doesn’t have the same appeal as seeing one in the wild.

The best places to see black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains:
- Cades Cove
- Cataloochee
- Anywhere in the back country
- In low lying creek beds

What if I see a black bear?
For some, just seeing a black bear can make your entire trip.
Try to stay at great distance away from the black bear.
You’d think this is common sense, but you’d be surprised at the number of bear attacks are a result of humans trying to feed them. Bears are not pets!

Don’t want to see a black bear?

Well, if you’re hiking on a trail try making a lot of noise. Black bears can hear you miles away and will go the other way. Some people say to carry a jingle bell with you. If you’re camping in the back country, be sure to pack all your food away in sealed containers.