GSMNP Trails Closed After Bear Attack

Several trails have been closed today, June 7, 2015, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after a bear attack. The trails are closed in the Hazel Creek section of the park.

Park officials say last night at about 10:30 p.m. a 16-year-old male from Ohio was pulled from his hammock by a bear. The incident happened at campsite 84 approximately four and a half miles from the Fontana Lake shoreline.

According to officials, the victim’s father was able to drive the bear away from the campsite. The victim and his father hiked to the lakeshore and were transported to a boat dock by campers. Graham County emergency service workers took the victim to a landing zone and he was flown to Mission Hospital in Asheville at 3 a.m. this morning.

The young man is in stable condition after sustaining multiple injuries including laceration to his head.

Hazel Creek Trail, Jenkins Ridge Trail, Bone Valley Trail, Cold Spring Gap Trail and campsites 82 through 88 are closed.

“While incidents with bears are rare, we ask park visitors to take necessary precautions while hiking in bear country and comply with all backcountry closures,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “The safety of our visitors is our number one priority.”



Update July 2, 2015: Hazel Creek, Jenkins Ridge, Bone Valley, Cold Spring Gap Trails, Derrick Knob Shelter and campsites 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, & 88 have now reopened.


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