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Will I See a Black Bear at My Cabin in Pigeon Forge?

Cades Cove bear
September 26, 2014

Guests staying at a cabin in Pigeon Forge often wonder how likely it is that they will see black bears. While there is a substantial black bear population in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in all likelihood you will not see one near your cabin. For the safety of both you and the bears, it’s best if these animals don’t come too close. There are some precautions you can take to make this even less likely.

(See Also: Top 6 Places to See Fall Colors in the Great Smoky Mountains)

Be Careful Not to Leave Food Around Your Cabin

There is only one reason why a black bear would approach a cabin or anyplace where humans are gathering – to find food. A hungry bear will follow the scent of food, which can come from barbecues or garbage left outside. Bears are omnivorous animals that will eat almost anything. While their natural diet consists mainly of acorns, berries and insects, the smell of human food can tempt them to approach if they are hungry.

Black bear cub running

That’s why it’s important to clean up thoroughly and not leave scraps of food, garbage bags or anything else that might attract bears. If you do any grilling, take the time to clean up and not leave any traces of food behind. Garbage should be stored in garbage containers with secure lids, not left tied up in bags.

Black Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Black bears, which are the smallest species of bear in North America, are quite common in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Before the park was created in 1934, black bears in the region had become scarce due to hunting. Now, however, there are close to 1,500 black bears in the park. For more information about bears in the Smokies, visit the official national park website.

Adult black bear and black bear cub

As numerous as black bears are, they generally avoid humans. As long as you don’t do anything to attract them, they will keep their distance.The best way to appreciate these beautiful wild animals is far from your cabin in Pigeon Forge. Observing them at a distance while hiking or driving through the park allows you to get a good look at them without putting yourself (or the bears) at risk.

Looking for more information about seeing bears and other animals in the national park? Check out our blog about Smoky Mountain Wildlife Viewing in Cades Cove!

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