CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Due to bear activity, wildlife officials have temporarily closed a campground at Cardens Bluff along Watauga Lake.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency said at least one bear has been taking food and trash at the campground.

Just about a mile down the road Boots Off Hostel and Campground remains open and said they haven’t had any issues.

“We definitely have been keeping up to date on the reports and following it very closely,” owner Jim Gregory said.

The closure will likely drive customers still looking for a place to stay this weekend to Gregory’s site. He said the campground is taking preventative steps to deter bears.

“Hanging bags in the campground or putting them in bear boxes, things like that,” Gregory said. “We have the trash cans all are bleached regularly, cleaned, so it’s just a lot of different measures that you do to keep the scents down, keep them locked and covered and pretty much bear-proof.”

Gregory said his staff makes sure to talk with guests about bear safety when they check-in.

“You just try to keep a clean place, you can’t have any food left around,” Gregory said. “Even like an apple core. Certain times of the year, that’s going to bring a bear.”

Hikers in the area said the trail has been pretty quiet, and luckily, they haven’t had any close calls.

“Bears are amazing animals,” hiker Elliott Lee said. “I see a lot of them around here. I’ve been on trail for four days or so now. I didn’t see any personally in this trip.”

TWRA officials said they’ve set two traps at Cardens Bluff, but as of Friday afternoon, the campground site was still closed to the public.

U.S. Forest Services officials reminded the public of bear safety guidelines, which entail that visitors keep food or other items that may attract bears properly stored. Storage includes bear-resistant containers.

Other items that may attract bears include the following:

  • toothpaste
  • shampoo
  • lotion
  • soap
  • cooking utensils
  • empty cans
  • wrappers
  • coolers
  • pet food
  • bird seed
  • garbage
  • petroleum products (including fuel)