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Discover the Wild Side of Gatlinburg: How to Safely Encounter Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, and wildlife. One of the most fascinating animals you can encounter in Gatlinburg is the bear. With around 1,500 black bears living in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which surrounds Gatlinburg, it's not uncommon to see these powerful creatures wandering around the town.

Bears eating trash at my cabin in Gatlinburg, TN

Black bears are the most common species of bear found in Gatlinburg. They are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals, and their diet typically consists of berries, insects, nuts, and occasionally small mammals. Despite their name, black bears can range in color from blonde to cinnamon to black.