Bear Watching at Mount Magazine

Jill M. Rohrbach
A unique experience is available for the next two weeks at Mount Magazine State Park. You can watch a wild black bear from a safe distance, about one-fourth to one-third of a mile away as the crow flies.

Long-time park interpreter Don Simons located the entrance to the bear den on March 17. A week later, during a scheduled interpretive program aptly called “Bear Hollow Watch,” a bear was sunning outside the den. A dozen hikers watched the bear for over two hours through a spotting scope and binoculars.

According to the park, “This bear is probably a female and possibly has young cubs. This conclusion is based on bear sightings in the area for the past two years and knowledge of bear biology. In 2009 a bear with three young cubs was seen and photographed nearby. In 2010 a bear with three yearlings was photographed in the same area. Female bears usually stay in one area and have litters every two years.”

The opportunity to view this bear is limited because as spring progresses, the forest canopy will soon hide them from view.  Guided hikes to scan for bears are scheduled. Songbirds, deer, and turkey are other possible sightings. The best viewing conditions are warm, sunny mornings with light winds.  Visit

for details and a list of other interpretive activities.


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