Black bear tracks spotted in Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Szalay's Farm & Market

It appears a black bear is enjoying the summer inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

A black bear that left tracks near Szalay’s Farm & Market on Riverview Road south of Peninsula and north of Akron was most likely a young male traveling through the area, looking for territory, food and possibly a mate, said Pamela Barnes the community engagement supervisor and public information officer for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

A social media post on Thursday showed several photos of a bear print the size of a man’s hand. Another photo showed the bone of what was said to be a deer femur.

Black bear sightings are not unheard of in Northeast Ohio, given the proximity of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Summit County Metro Parks system and the numerous local parks. Black bears have even wandered around the many suburbs in the area, including in Stow, Montrose, Hudson, Wadsworth and Bedford Heights.

“Sightings of black bear do occur this time of year,” Barnes said.

There have been no known publicly announced sightings of a bear this year, although one or more were spotted several times last summer.

Barnes added that this area does not have the larger grizzly bears and black bear sightings only happen occasionally. Still, residents should know what to do in the unlikely scenario where they do see a bear up close and personal.

What to do if you spot a black bear

The National Park Service recommends that people:

  • Never approach or crowd a bear;

  • Never feed a bear;

  • Hike or travel in groups;

  • Stay on designated trails when possible;

  • Leave pets at home;

  • Stay calm and talk in a low voice if they do see a bear;

  • Never try to run from a bear.

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Reporter April Helms can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Cuyahoga Valley National Park confirms black bear tracks spotted

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