ANCHORAGE, AK — Bears returning to feed on salmon near the Eagle River Nature Center have prompted Alaska State Parks managers to close the Albert Loop Trail and nearby areas, effective from Thursday, Aug. 12 at 9 p.m to the winter freeze-up.

StateParksCover1The popular trail features several bridges across Eagle River and associated side channels, and winds past a few beaver dams. Black and brown bears use the bridges and dams as fishing platforms, increasing the risk of human-bear conflict, said Ben Corwin, Chugach State Park Superintendent with the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.

“Park managers have closed the trail each season since 1997, to reduce the potential for conflict and to protect the safety and well-being of both humans and bears,” Corwin said.

The closure does not affect the Iditarod/Crow Pass trail, the Dew Mound Trail, or the Rodak Loop or its viewing platforms, all of which are accessible from the Eagle River Nature Center trailhead. The Albert Loop trail will likely be reopened at freeze-up when most bears go into hibernation.

StateParksCoverThose recreating in Chugach State Park are encouraged to take appropriate bear-aware precautions and be prepared to encounter bears and other wild animals.

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