Campers, be vigilant - there has been an increase in black bear sightings up north this summer.

The National Park Service is warning campers to use bear boxes when storing food, pet food, and scented items like toothpaste and deodorants, in bear boxes at their campsites.

ATTENTION CAMPERS: Black bear activity around trails and campsites has increased. For those in drive-in campgrounds, make sure all food items (including pet food) and anything with a scent (toothpaste, deodorants, etc.) are safely stored in your vehicle when you are not using them, or in the bear boxes provided in each campground. BACKPACKERS: Use the bear boxes located near your site. Do not leave any of these items in your tent! When you leave, empty the bear boxes and pack out all food and trash for the safety of the next campers.

This is good to know - my son and I are going up north next week for a social-distancing trip to Pictured Rocks. I've been hiking in the Canadian Rockies before, and we brought bear spray with us to fend off the grizzlies. Luckily, black bears are more docile. Still, it's important to remember that we are in THEIR homes and that their behavior can be unpredictable.

On a personal note, I cannot WAIT to check out the area! We've been to St. Ignace and Mackinac Island but that's as far north as we've gone. So many items on my UP bucket list! Happy trails, everybody!

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