ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- U.S. Forest Service officials in North Carolina said Thursday, May 11, that a section of the Appalachian Trail is temporarily closed to overnight camping due to "recent aggressive bear behavior."
The notice applies to the area between Tanyard Gap and Deep Gap, including the area surrounding Rich Mountain Fire Tower.
Forest officials say while backpackers are still permitted to hike through, campsites and shelters are temporarily off-limits until further notice.
Hikers are advised to plan accordingly for this closure, noting it's 13.7 miles from Tanyard Gap to the Little Laurel Shelter and 6.8 miles from Deep Gap to the Little Laurel Shelter.
An interactive map of the Appalachian Trail is available at nps.maps.arcgis.com.
Bearwise.org says hikers and campers should take special precautions while out in bear country to avoid an encounter.
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