New Jersey hiker has close encounter with bear

A New Jersey hiker has a close encounter with a black bear that walked curiously up to her. The group were out on a hike when they caught the video.

Julie Tupey, 25, was told to get up slowly and walk away as the bear got closer at the top of the Stairway to Heaven trail in New Jersey.

Tupey’s friend Joe Kun, 25, filmed the video and asked his friends to move away from the trail viewpoint. Mr Kun said: ‘It was early on in the summer in the middle of June when New Jersey was still under rather strict lockdown because of the coronavirus.

‘There wasn’t much to do at the time so we decided to go hiking at a very popular trail called Stairway to Heaven in Vernon NJ which has a viewpoint at the top of the trail.’

‘We are all rather experienced hikers so this wasn’t something new to us.

New Jersey hikers joke about bear on trail..until it appears

New Jersey hiker has close encounter with bear

‘As usual there were all the notices posted at the beginning of the trail and we ironically even joked about what we would do if we saw a bear.’

It is very common to see bears in New Jersey however, they usually do not walk up to hikers. Mr Kun said: ‘Once we got to the top of the trail around 3pm there were quite a few other hikers up there so we went off to the rightmost area of the clearing close to the woods to sit and have lunch.

‘A few minutes after we sat down, the bear emerged from the woods at the end of the rock formation.

‘We froze, the bear looked at us, and quickly continued across the rocks down the hill back into the woods below us.

‘I tried to take a few pictures then but my phone was buried somewhere in my bag.


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