ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS — A black bear was spotted in a community much more accustomed to the occasional dolphin sighting, heading into Memorial Day weekend.

On Friday, the Atlantic Highlands Police Department shared several updates about "multiple black bear sightings in the area of Upper East Highland Avenue and Lenape Woods."

Both Lenape Woods and Mount Mitchill Park were closed for a stretch of time during the sightings, as a precaution.

Atlantic Highlands bear sighting map (Google Maps) NJ
(Google Maps)

The first notice was before noon, with another update two hours later and a third post around 3 p.m.

"Upon speaking with the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife they believe that the bear will move on from Atlantic Highlands soon," police said, adding that the state would not respond to remove the bear unless "it gets into a fixed position, such as a tree or an enclosure."

From January through late spring, there were at least 473 sightings and nuisance and damage reports involving bears across 17 counties, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Those did not include sightings and incidents handled by police departments without NJDEP assistance, such as in Atlantic Highlands.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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