I have never hiked in Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, but it's definitely on my list of places to visit, especially after these black bear sightings!
I would've thought that bears would be hibernating at this time of the year, but apparently not.
This is from the National Park Service on the Prince William Forest Park Facebook page:
Black bears, particularly in our area, don't hibernate quite like most people think. They do bulk up in the fall, eating as much as they can and building up body fat for warmth and energy reserves, and once winter starts, they do sleep a lot to conserve energy and body heat by lowering their heart rate and metabolic rate.
However, for the first couple months of winter if the weather is still nice, they are actually very light sleepers and will remain pretty active. Now that we're getting more snow and the temperatures are staying lower, they will be settling into their dens and 'properly' hibernating until around the end of March, but they may still stir on warmer days.