Several months ago, this op-ed appeared from Butler University, and started the whole Campus RKBA Round-Up thing.
If you will remember (click on the link if you don't), Ms. Maire Gurevitz found it hard to understand why anyone would want to take a gun to a state park.
I can give you one reason:
And some more, elsewhere during my wanderings...
I wear a size 10 and a half shoe. Not a terribly huge bear, but more than a match for my strength. I've butchered a couple of bears that we have shot (legally) on our property, and can personally attest to the density of their muscles.
Yesterday, I spent the whole morning hiking along the Tanana River. I came across so many tracks like these, as well as other evidence of roaming bears (like bear scat). They can even be found near the outlying houses on our farm.
I live in rural Alaska, with lots of undeveloped land. Not terribly unlike most state parks.
And there you have your rationale for hiking armed. Bears tend to shun encounters with humans, but you don't want to take your chances.