Black bear sightings in Shenandoah National Park are definitely increasing lately! (More on this in a later post) If you do spot a bear, there are at least two places nearby where you can officially record your sightings. A binder log for visitors to log their encounters can be found in the Big Meadows Lodge lobby, usually on the table by the standing bear mannequin. (Sometimes the binder gets moved to the great room just beyond the lobby.) I was thrilled to finally have the chance to record my first bear sighting a couple of years ago. I’ve seen several bears since that ursine greeter surprised us by the side of Skyline Drive, so using the “bear book” is becoming something of a tradition. Another fun tradition is getting my husband to take photos with the aforementioned bear mannequin at the lodge! He doesn’t need much prompting to do something silly, believe me.
A second place to record bear sightings is the wildlife plant and animal log at the Byrd Visitor Center (by the Big Meadows Wayside). Eric and I once realized we had met a rare Shenandoah salamander on the Appalachian Trail and we may have recorded our discovery in this very book.
I’m sure there are other places to note your sightings in the park – bear or otherwise! If you know of such a place, please leave a note in the comments!
Eric and friend: