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Top 10 States With The Most Black Bear

Black Bear cub
Black bear cub. Image via Depositphotos

Many states contain black bears – a true sight to behold. They roam the forests, mountains and sometimes even our backyards. They are a symbol of the wild, a reminder that nature is closer than we think. Here, we take a look at the top ten states where you’re most likely to encounter these magnificent creatures.

10. Virginia

Black bear
American black bear in Labrador, Canada. Image via Cephas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Virginia’s black bears are primarily found in the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. The state’s conservation efforts have helped the population thrive.

9. New York

Wild Black bear and cub. Image via despoitphotos.

New York’s Adirondack and Catskill Mountains are popular black bear habitats. The state has a healthy and stable bear population.

8. Minnesota

Baby American Black Bear. Image by MennoSchaefer via Depositphotos

Minnesota, with its extensive forests and wilderness areas, provides an excellent home for black bears. They are mostly found in the northern part of the state.

7. Michigan

Black Bear Dominates
Black Bear via Pexels.

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula are prime bear country. The state has worked hard to maintain and grow its black bear numbers.

6. North Carolina

Black Bear
Black Bear. Image by Alex Dugquem via Pexels.

North Carolina is known for its large black bear population, especially in the eastern coastal plains and western mountain regions. The Great Smoky Mountains are a notable habitat.

5. Wisconsin

Black Bear. Image via Pexels.

Wisconsin’s black bears are mostly found in the northern regions. The state’s forests and abundant food sources support a growing bear population.

4. Pennsylvania

Black Bear
Black bears are excellent climbers and can ascend trees with ease, using their strong claws and agile limbs to reach heights of up to 50 feet. Image by Aaron Brewer via Pexels

Pennsylvania has a robust black bear population. The bears are widespread, but the highest concentrations are found in the northern and central parts of the state.

3. California

Black bear by Chris Weber with MidJourney
Black bear by Chris Weber with MidJourney

California is home to a significant number of black bears – especially in the Sierra Nevada and northern coastal areas. They are often spotted by hikers and campers.

2. Maine

Black bear by Chris Weber with MidJourney
Black bear by Chris Weber with MidJourney

Maine’s dense forests and large tracts of wilderness are ideal for black bears. The state has a healthy population, often seen in northern and western regions.

1. Alaska

Asian black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species, and have on occasion produced hybrid offspring. Image via DEPOSITPHOTOS

Alaska tops the list with the most black bears. Vast wilderness and untouched forests provide the perfect habitat. Bears here thrive in the expansive, undisturbed environment.


Closeup large black bear head looks at spectators in zoo. Image via Depsoitphotos

Evidently black bears are an integral part of our natural world. These states offer some of the best opportunities to see them in their natural habitat. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, always remember to respect these animals and their environment. It’s a big world out there and the black bear is a majestic part of it.

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