Part of Appalachian Trail closed to camping due to bear activity in Tennessee

Campsites will be closed between Double Springs Shelter and the Backbone Rock Trail

Due to reported aggressive bear activity, certain camping sites at the Appalachian Trail will be closed. (Appalachian Trail Conservancy)

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – Due to reported aggressive bear activity in Tennessee, certain campsites at the Appalachian Trail will be closed.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy took to Facebook to announce that the trail will be closed until further notice between Double Springs Shelter, which is about 452 miles northbound, and the Backbone Rock Trail, about 465 miles northbound, in Northeast Tennessee.

The conservancy warned against feeding and approaching bears and recommended bear canisters for safety.

Here are tips that the trail provided to keep its hikers safe:

  • Cook and eat your meals at least 200 feet away from your tent or shelter so food odors won’t linger.
  • Pack a bear-resistant personal food storage container.
  • Always properly store your food, leaving it out could attract bears.
  • Never burn food wrappers or leftovers as the smell could attract bears.
  • If you encounter a bear at your campsite, you should never run or “play dead.” Instead, you should back away and speak calmly.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.