Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Bear Facts

The most famous animal in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the black bear. Many people come to the smokies to see black bears. There are many places in the park where you can enjoy the bears from the safety of your automobile. It is very common to see them while driving through the park.

The two best locations in the park to get a close look at the bears are Cades Cove and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The best time of day to see these wonderful creatures is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Bears are not true hibernators but they do take long naps during the winter months.

Bears are wild animals and must be treated with caution and respect. Feeding the bears or getting too close to them can be very dangerous. DO NOT feed the bears. It is illegal, dangerous and hazardous to the bears. Feeding bears puts the person in danger and also gets bears habituated to humans and their food. The bears go out of the park in search of human food, cause trouble and often times have to be relocated or put to sleep. Try to remember that we humans are in their home...they are not in ours.

Enjoy the bears but do so at a safe distance...take lots of pictures...but don't get too close!