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AL State Mammal LbNA #61721

Owner:Wisconsin Hiker
Plant date:Apr 19, 2012
Found by: Choi
Last found:Oct 22, 2012
Last edited:May 14, 2016
Last checked/found: 19-APR-12

Location: In a forest whose name means “land of cane”, in the Rec Area that features a natural sinkhole lake and camping. Entrance fee was $3/vehicle in 2012.
Time: 60-90 minutes
Terrain: Mostly level & shaded sandy/dirt trail.

Alabama designated the black bear as the official state mammal in 2006. Black bears are very intelligent, shy, and secretive animals - actually seeing a bear in the wild is a very rare experience. Black bears are not always black - there are cinnamon, white, beige, and "blue" (slate gray) black bears.

After entering the park, turn left and park at the end of the road near the restrooms.
On the south side of the parking area, find a trail between two posts.
Follow the trail forward until you reach the pond of the male deer.
Take the trail at 190 degrees.
Follow the diamonds and you will reach another pond.
At the intersection, take the trail at 80 degrees.

The black Bear is a solitary creature (except females with cubs). A mating pair may stay together for one to several days, then part ways. The cubs are born in the winter during hibernation, and will remain with their mother until their second summer. When they emerge from the winter den the mother teaches the cubs which plants to eat and where to find the grubs and other insects that will supplement their diets.

Cross sand and continue w/diamonds.
Cross a bridge and then stay to the left when you reach a bench at an intersection.

Cubs measure only 8 inches in length and weigh from 8 to 12 ounces when born. Average adult body weights range from 150 to 350 pounds for males and 120 to 250 pounds for females with body lengths from 3 to 6 feet. Adult black bears vary considerably in size, from 130 - 500 pounds (occasionally as much as 700).

Ignore an unmarked intersection and stay on the main trail as it curves right.
Take a left at the next sign, then left again at a similar sign.

The black bear is omnivorous and will eat just about anything. While they prefer nuts, berries, grasses, and roots, they also eat insects and small mammals, and if nothing else is available, carrion.

Stop when you are between two wire-wrapped posts, and then take a bearing of 230 degrees.
Spot a tall tree with a split that looks like a good tree for a bear to climb.
Your bear is hibernating at the base of the tree, on the west side.

The black bear ranges from the far north (Alaska and northern Canada) to northern Mexico. They can run up to 30 mph and are good swimmers.

If you’d like a convenient place to stamp in, there is a bench just a bit further along the trail. You’ll also find the bubbling water here.
Please return the bear to her tree and rehide her carefully, so she survives to greet future visitors.

To return, retrace your steps turning right, right and right.
Then right again at a wide sandy trail.
Stay straight at an intersection, then a final right at a 4-way will bring you back to your starting point.

We live quite far away, so would greatly appreciate an email to let us know how the bear is doing out in the wilds of Alabama!

Hike length: 2-3 miles