An easy hike, the mile-long Bear Trail offers students just the right challenge. Much of the trail passes through a “man-made” forest community created by Duke Energy upon completion of the Bad Creek Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project in 1991. This conservation planning was part of Duke Energy’s original Bad Creek project.
During plant construction, Bear Trail was part of a major work area. Some of the earth removed during construction was placed along the trail’s path, forming a hill now covered by sawtooth oaks and other vegetation.
Duke Energy environmentalists selected sawtooth oaks for this “reclamation area” because of the large number of acorns the trees produce each fall, providing an ideal food source for area wildlife.