Overnight Camping Reopens on AT in Mount Rogers Area
The US Forest Service has reopened camping for parts of the Appalachian Trail and the Mount Rogers National Recreation high country after determining that there have been no recent problems between hikers and bears.
The areas were reopened on Tuesday, Oct. 2, nearly a month after the closure on Aug. 30.
The Forest Service advises, however, that habituated bears may still be active and hikers should be alert.
We encourage visitors to use all precautions to avoid attracting bears during their visit, ranger Barry Garten said. This is especially important as we go into the fall season when bears are in search of food to prepare for winter. The Forest Service continues to work with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Grayson Highlands State Park, the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Mount Rogers Appalachian Trail Club to evaluate options to address the human-bear conflict issue.
The closure included three shelters: Thomas Knob Shelter, Wise Shelter, and Old Orchard Shelter. Bear boxes are located and Thomas Knob and Wise shelters.
Hikers not following proper LNT food-storage principles can lead bears to develop a taste for human food and be attracted to gatherings of hikers. While it is commonly believed that hanging food is a measure to protect hikers from bears, bear hangs also help protect bears from people. Eventually a fed bear can become so persistent and aggressive that drastic measures must be taken, such as relocation or euthanasia.
Featured image courtesy Jim Rahtz
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