August 13, 2016

Bear Safety on Skyline Drive

Last week I wrote about the bear problem on Dickey Ridge in Shenandoah National Park. A hiker's dog was killed. Since then I've taken some pictures up there to show you what the park service is doing to ensure public safety.

Signs have gone up to alert visitors to the danger. The trail to Snead Farm is closed. I could see from Skyline Drive that rangers are patrolling the trail.

It appeared that the number of tourists has actually increased! The visitor center was quite busy even though it was ten minutes before closing time!

I did not get a picture of a real bear this time so this fellow will have to do! He's warning us that bears are active in this area and has a list of what to do if you encounter a persistent bear. (Do not run! Make noise!)

I did see a bear crossing the road later! He disappeared into the forest before I could even pull over.

While still in the visitor center, I spotted a pretty fawn — not a real one, but at least he posed nicely.

Not far from there I saw a real deer next to the road.

Signs at Dickey Ridge Picnic Area
Farther south at Elkwallow Picnic Area I saw numerous warning signs. There were large posters next to the parking lot and there were even signs taped to the picnic tables.

I believe Elkwallow is the first place I ever saw a bear in the wild! I was just a kid hiking with my family and my older brother was in front. He got a good look at the bear, who immediately took off into the woods. I only caught a glimpse at the bear's rear end before he vanished.

Virginia's bears are normally shy. When one becomes a nuisance it's because he has been fed by people, perhaps accidentally when someone food out in the open.


  1. Staying informed is always good.

  2. Hello, great post I love the sweet deer. I have seen a few bears at Shenandoah. Most of the time they were crossing the road. I did see some while hiking on the Limberlost trail. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  3. I would read and heed these signs!!! I was chased by a mama bear once, long long long ago, in Yellowstone.

  4. I've never seen a bear in the wild, and I don't really care to either. There was one spotted here in our area not long ago. That is a rare occurrence here, though.

  5. Too many folks don't understand that wild animals are WILD!

  6. Only a few make it into my state from the north.

  7. Nice dear!

    On Cacapon we have a persistent bear problem, they come down to attack the "bear proof" garbage cages.

    I saw one once while walking Theda, I tried to get his picture but the darn camera didn't go off. Then Theda saw him and barked and bear ran back up the mountain.

  8. Always good to be informed. That's what park officials do here too.

  9. The bears have been active in our area too this summer.

  10. Forty years ago we camped in Shenandoah in early spring, almost alone in the campground. After dark a bear came down the line opening every garbage can! Next morning a bear trap appeared two sites down. We slept in the car the last night!

  11. love the deer. And the fawn looks beautiful even if it is a decoration.

  12. It's interesting that a bear sighting would bring out more people...I suppose folks want to see a real live bear. Myself, I don't to encounter bears while hiking, thank you very much.

  13. When bears run off into the bush, they're reacting in just the right way.

  14. Wow, you have been going out a lot this month. Tried to comment on Shenandoah park (but it didn't through) Beautiful park and your phone takes great pics!


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