Bears in PA.

 I am planning to take a weekend paddling trip with my wife down the west branch of the Susquehanna in our 16ft prospector.  I was going to get serious about scheduling and planning when she grew concerned about bears.  I was planning on being careful in terms of hanging food and keeping a clean camp but was wondering if anyone from the area could tell me how much of a problem they are.  Also my tent is a couple of years old and the kids have camped in the back yard with snacks and drinks and I was planning on cleaning it out but do you think bears would be attracted to smells from last years messes?  Thanks

I would be more concerned with racoons than bears. How many in your group? Where do you plan to camp? There are areas there that look inviting but ar posted “Private Property” When do you plan to go? I have lived, camped, and paddled in PA all my life. I see bears every now and then. I have never been concerned about my safety around bears in PA. You are on the right track with keeping a clean camp. Come to PA. Have a great trip and then let us know how it went.

My wife and I were planning on going just the two of us and leaving the kids at my mothers about an hour and a half north of Karthus in the southern tier of NY. I was also wondering if the river gets too low at any time during the summer because this is our first trip like this I’d like my wife to be comfortable and want to do it again.

Check this out. Contact these folks. They will be your best source for any trip info. I take my wife on an anual two day trip on the Potomac. She loves it. I REALLY REALLY kiss her @#ss on these trips. She is a city girl. The more comfortable, clean and inebriated she is, the happier we both are! Good luck.

do yourself a favor
don’t point out any bear sign you see on the trip like I did on my wife’s first camping trip. I think she stayed up most of the night that night. She’s since become a little more of a pro with bears since we had an “aggressive” black bear in our camp in the adirondacks two years ago, but she’s still afraid of them.

W Branch
Shawville to Karthus, or Karthus to Keeting are nice runs. No people. Some nice sites. Moshannon Falls is the only C-II area and that is only at the right water level. Have done those stretches many times and haven’t had any problem with bears. A Clean Camp is always good. We use blue barrels sometimes and take them 100 yards out of camp. The trees are just starting to bud here in Northern PA and the wildflowers are beautiful; changing each week. Have fun.

Summer Water Level
It does get shallow in the summer, at least above Karthus. Shoals that go clear across the river are rough when the water is below 3ft(I think) at Karthus guage.

not a problem
bears in Pa are not a problem what so ever due to an active yearly hunting season… they really fear humans here