Camping and Wildlife Safety

bear in forest
Planning an overnight stay in the park? Camping can be a great way to truly experience the park. There is a lot of wildlife here, and night is a good time to see or hear many of our wild creatures. Proper precautions can keep you safe and keep unwanted animals out of your tent.
black bear
Black Bear

Safety tips:

  • Always keep a clean camp.
  • Never leave food lying out.
  • Never dump food scraps or other smelly stuff near your camping area.
  • Never bring food in your tent.
  • Lock food, trash, and scented items in a vehicle when not in use.
  • If you are backpacking or boating and do not have a vehicle, food should be hung in a tree out of reach of animals and away from your tent.
  • Use designated camping areas.
  • Keep your sleeping area, tent and sleeping bag free of food and odors.
  • Dispose of trash in bear resistant trash cans.
  • Keep a safe distance from all wildlife.
  • Never feed wild animals! It is dangerous to both you and the animal.
  • Always keep pets on a leash.

Black bears are occasionally encountered in the park, so be aware. You are most likely to run into raccoons or skunks trying to get your food or making a lot of noise trying to get into a trash can.

If you see a bear:

  • Remain watchful.
  • Do not approach it
  • Do not allow the bear to approach you.
  • If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.) you are too close.
  • Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The bear is demanding more space. Don't run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Increase the distance between you and the bear. The bear will probably do the same.
If a bear persistently follows or approaches you:
  • Change your direction.
  • If the bear continues to follow you, stand your ground.
  • If the bear gets closer, talk loudly or shout at it.
  • Act aggressively to intimidate the bear.
  • Act together as a group if you have companions. Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground).
  • Throw non-food objects such as rocks at the bear.
  • Use a deterrent such as a stout stick.
  • Don't run and don't turn away from the bear.
  • Don't leave food for the bear; this encourages further problems.

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    Tags: bear safety

    Last updated: January 26, 2021

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    P.O. Box 246, 104 Main Street
    Glen Jean, WV 25846



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