TN/VA – Camping Closure – Low Gap/U.S. 421 to TN/VA State Line

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Alert

Updated at 2:51 pm on 10/27/2022:

Due to a report of an aggressive bear around Abingdon Gap Shelter (NOBO mile 460.5), officials with the Cherokee National Forest are closing the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) to camping between Low Gap/U.S. 421 and the Tennessee/Virginia state line (NOBO miles 455.7 to 467.0).

The previous camping closure between U.S. 321 and Wilbur Dam Road (NOBO miles 428.6 to 433.0) is still in effect.

All area visitors should use caution, pack out all trash and food scraps, and never leave food unattended. Overnight hikers should plan their itineraries accordingly to avoid camping in these sections.

Bears are more active along the A.T. this time of year as they try to build fat reserves for the winter and are more likely to be protective of food sources. Make sure bears do not have the chance to access human food by keeping a clean camp and properly storing all food and “smellables” (cookware, toothpaste, lotion, etc.) at night. The ATC recommends that all overnight hikers use a bear canister for the duration of their trip on the Appalachian Trail. 

For more information on bear safety, proper food storage, and bear canisters, visit https://appalachiantrail.org/bears and BearWise. 

We will update this post with more information as it becomes available.  

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