Georgia – Bear Activity



The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has historically received reports of bear activity along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in Georgia, particularly in the Blood Mountain Wilderness and along the Georgia/North Carolina border.

All visitors to the A.T. in Georgia should educate themselves on bear safety and proper food storage before leaving for the Trail. Hikers should keep a clean camp, store all food and “smellables” properly (scented items like cookware, bug spray, chapstick, trash, lotion, sunscreen, some medications, etc.), pack out all trash and food waste, and never leave food unattended (even for a short trip to the privy or to look at a view).

Hikers are required to use a hard-sided bear canister between Jarrad Gap and Neel Gap from March 1 to June 1 and are required to properly store all food and smellables according to the U.S. Forest Service Region 8 Food Storage Order.

The ATC recommends all overnight hikers use a bear canister as the most reliable and effective method for preventing bears from accessing human food.