While visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway come and go, bears and other wildlife live here. Watch from a distance and avoid the temptation to lure any animals close with food. Once they learn to forage near people, it is usually too late to discourage it. Many visitors unintentionally lure bears, deer, and other wildlife to campgrounds and picnic areas by storing their food improperly or by not disposing of garbage properly in trashcans or dumpsters.
Seeing a bear can be the highlight of any visit to a national park! If you see one of these magnificent creatures, remain watchful and do not approach it. If your presence causes a bear to change its behavior, you are too close! If a bear persistently follows or approaches you, try changing your direction. If the bear gets closer, act aggressively, stand your ground, talk loudly or shout at it.