Our local newspaper - The Maryville Daily Times, aka "The Daily Error" - occasionally prints some useful information. One of today's front page stories was about recent bear activity in the park. *I've excerpted a couple paragraphs to post here. You can read the whole article by clicking on the link that follows. For those of you driving in from out of town, it might be a good idea to bookmark their website and check the paper from time to time. Do a search for bear activity stories. Their online publication can be found at * *www.thedailytimes.com
"Backcountry users should be particularly cautious about how they handle and store food over the coming months. The park has posted warnings and closed three campsites where aggressive bears have been found.
'We had a person scratched in a tent at Walnut Bottoms in North Carolina, and we had a very aggressive bear on Little River Trail above Elkmont (also in North Carolina) this past two weeks,' DeLozier said."
Hope this information is helpful.