What follows is the September and October Forest Ranger Activity Report for DEC Region 5, which includes most of the Adirondack region. These reports are issued periodically by the DEC and printed here at the Almanack in their entirety. They are organized by county, and date. You can read previous Forest Ranger Reports here.
These incident reports are a stern reminder that wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry and always carry a flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.
The Adirondack Almanack reports current outdoor recreation and trail conditions each Thursday evening. Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Conditions Report on Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1) and on the stations of North Country Public Radio.
Town of Wilmington, Private Lands
On Wednesday, September 22, 2010, at 12:09 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a report that a man had collapsed on the trail near the base of High Falls Gorge. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the scene and located James McCrann, 73, of Hicksville, NY, sitting on the side of the trail. Mr. McCrann was alert and conscious and was able to walk out the quarter mile to the awaiting Wilmington Volunteer Fire and Rescue Ambulance. Mr. McCrann was provide same basic care and released at his own request without any further medical treatment. Know your physical limitations and always carry food and water.
Town of North Elba, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm, a DEC Forest Ranger and DEC Interior Caretaker on routine patrol received word of an injured hiker on Phelps Mountain. Mari Anne Raimville, 19, of Montreal, QC, had sustained a lower leg injury while descending Phelps Mountain and was unable to proceed. The
Forest Ranger and Interior Caretaker responded and carried Ms. Raimville to Marcy Dam. Another Forest Ranger had responded to Marcy Dame with an UTV and transported woman on the UTV to the trailhead via the Macy Dam Truck Trail. Always carry a first aid kit, even on day hikes.
Town of Wilmington, Whiteface Mountain Intensive Use Area
On Saturday, October 9, 2010, at 5:39 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from Olympic Regional Development Authority staff requested assistance from DEC Forest Rangers at the summit of Whiteface Mountain. The elevator to the summit had broken down and several persons with disabilities from the Essex County ARC were trapped on the windy summit. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and assisted ORDA staff and public volunteers carry several individuals down from the summit along the catwalks to the castle at the top of the Whiteface Memorial Highway. All the individuals were safely brought down the mountain with no further incident by 7:20 pm. Know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.
Town of Keene, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Sunday, October 10, 2010, at 1:39 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County 911 reporting a hiker needing medical assistance. Doug Roy, 53, of Ottawa, Ontario, was having a medical emergency on the Rooster Comb Mountain trail. DEC Forest Rangers and members of the Keene Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Keene Valley Volunteer Fire and Rescue located Mr. Roy approximately a 1/2 mile from the trailhead. Mr. Roy was extremely weak, but still conscious. Emergency Medical Services volunteers from the fire and rescue units provided medical care. Forest Rangers and other volunteers carried Mr. Roy back to the trailhead where he was placed in an ambulance at 3:30 pm for transportation to Adirondack Medical Center for further evaluation and treatment. Be aware of your medical and physical condition and carry prescribed medications with you.
Town of Newcomb, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Sunday, October 17, 2010, at 3:43 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from a woman requesting assistance in locating her husband in the vicinity of Moose Pond. Mathew Crowell, 29, of Syracuse, NY, had been hunting in the area for several days and reported his location each morning and evening using his Spot Locator. Mr. Crowell had not reported in since 10:00 am on Saturday. Mrs. Crowell became concerned that her husband might be injured after learning of the presence of snow in the higher elevations. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and located Mr. Crowell’s car at the Moose Pond Trail Head and started to search the 6 miles of trail into Moose Pond. At 6:05pm the Forest Ranger heard a shot and found the subject in good shape, at the last spot location he had sent to his wife. According to Mr. Crowell, he had sent his wife points from the Spot Locator throughout his trip but obviously the signal didn’t get out due to the steep drainages. Always provide someone at home with your itinerary and when you expect to return. Electronic devices are useful in providing information and communicating with people outside the backcountry – be aware of their limitations.
Town of North Elba, Adirondack Loj Lands
On Sunday, October 17, 2010, at 8:00 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from the Adirondack Loj reporting two hikers overdue from a hike up Mt. Jo. Alice Langlois, 44, of Atlanta, GA, and Leanne Mardngon, 44, of Montreal, Canada had left late in the afternoon to with two companions to climb the mountain. After reaching the summit Ms. Langlois and Ms. Mardngon decided to take the long trail back to the Loj while their friends took the short trail. As darkness approached the friends became concerned since neither of the women had headlamps or were prepared to spend the night in the woods. A DEC Forest Ranger responded to the call for assistance and located the subjects at 8:45pm on the long trail. They were safely returned to the Adirondack Loj by 9:30 pm. When hiking in groups keep together.
Town of Keene, Giant Mt. Wilderness
On Friday, October 22, 2010, at 7:12 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a report of a group of hikers on the Giant Mountain trail without flashlights. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and met the group of Boy Scouts from Lee Center, NY, a short distance up the trail. The Forest Ranger provided the group with extra flashlights and escorted them down the trail without incident. All subjects were out of the woods by 8:07 pm. Always carry a flashlight or headlamp. Remember that the sun sets earlier in the fall and plan trips accordingly.
Town of Ticonderoga, Pharoah Lake Wilderness, Lost Pond
On Sunday, October 24, 2010, at 11:08 am, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from Essex County 911 reporting a hunter lost in the vicinity of Lost Pond. DEC Forest Rangers, a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer, State Police and Ticonderoga Police joined in the search for Tom Santelli, 32, of Arlington, VT. Forest Rangers located Mr. Santelli at 4:30 pm approximately ¾ of a mile off the Lost Pond Trail. He was in good condition and was escorted out of the woods. Know the area you will be hiking or hunting. Always carry a map and compass and use them.
Town of Harrietstown, High Peaks Wilderness Area
On Saturday, September 18, 2010, at 4:21 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call reporting an injured person on the summit of Ampersand Mountain. Nathan Turplin, 28, of Ithaca, NY had fallen and injured his lower leg. DEC Forest Rangers and a helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit responded. Mr. Turplin’s leg was stabilized and he was hoisted to the helicopter. At 6:45 pm, Mr. Turplin was flown to the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for further evaluation and treatment. Know how to obtain assistance in emergency situations. The DEC Forest Ranger emergency phone number is 518-891-0235.
Town of Saranac Lake, Saranac Lake Wild Forest
On Saturday, October 2, 2010, at 4:01 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a request for assistance from Franklin County 911 for a subject lost in the vicinity of Lake Colby. Ryan Noel, 24, of Saranac Lake, NY was walking along the railroad tracks in the vicinity of Lake Colby when he left the tracks and became lost. DEC Forest Rangers and a helicopter from the State Police Aviation Unit responded. Mr. Noel was spotted by a forest ranger in the helicopter at 4:55 pm. Forest Rangers on the ground reached him and escorted him out of the woods. Know the area you will be hiking or hunting. Always carry a map and compass and use them.
Town of Indian Lake, Blue Mountain Wild Forest
On Sunday, September 5, 2010, at 6:14 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 reporting two hikers lost on a trail off State Route 28 in the Town of Indian Lake. Sal Padronaggio, 56, and Lorraine Padronaggio, 54, both of Bohemia, NY, were unable to name the trailhead they had started at and could only describe their location as on a snowmobile trail close to a river. DEC Forest Rangers responded to the Rock Pond trail head, which met the description provided, and located the subjects’ vehicle. A Forest Ranger on an ATV drove three miles to Rock River, eventually making voice contact with the two hikers. Mr. and Mrs. Padroaggio were located approximately ½ mile from the trail. They slowly made their way back to the ATV, due to a minor leg injury Mrs. Padronaggio had obtained earlier. They then were transported out on the ATV. They arrived at the trailhead at 9:20 pm, cold and wet, but otherwise in good condition. Learn about the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass and use them.
Town of Hope, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
On Saturday September 18, 2010, at 7:24 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from the DEC Sacandaga Campground reporting a camper overdue from a day of bear hunting. Arthur Foure, 49, of Selden, NY and his partner left the campground in the morning to hunt in the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest off Creek Road. The pair went separate ways to hunt a five square mile area surrounded by roads, and planned to meet up back at their vehicle at 6:15 pm. When Mr. Foure did not return by 6:30 pm, his partner returned to the campground to report him missing. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and met up with the partner, instructing him to return to the trailhead and wait for Mr. Foure, while he went the other way following the roads that surrounded the area. The Forest Ranger located the Mr. Foure at 8:25 pm along Old State Road, approximately 2.8 miles from the trailhead. He was returned to the trailhead and reunited with his hunting partner. Learn about the area you plan to hike. Always carry a map and compass and use them.
Town of Indian Lake, Jessup River Wild Forest
On Sunday, October 10, 2010, at 2:00 am, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from the DEC Lewey Lake Campground reporting 3 overdue hikers. David Ciaccia, 23, and Samantha Ciaccia, 22, both of Conshohocker PA, and Abagail Kite, 23, of Owins Mills, MD, had not returned from a day hike of Watch Hill. DEC Forest Rangers responded and searched through the night, covering most of the ground around Watch Hill while repeatedly calling out the names of the three hikers. At 8:30am, the Rangers located the subjects in good condition. They reported that it had gotten dark as they were returning to the campground and they did not have flashlights, so they lost the trail. When asked if they could hear Forest Rangers calling for them, they said they had but stated that “growing up in the city you never holler back”. Always carry a flashlight or headlamp. Remember that the sun sets earlier in the fall and plan trips accordingly. If lost, help searchers found you by staying in one place; starting a fire or make noise; and answer searchers calls.
Town of Lake Pleasant, Moose River Plains Wild Forest
On Sunday, October 17, 2010, at 1:10 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a cell phone call with a very poor connection from a hunter reporting that one of his hunting partner had not returned from a morning hunt. Based on information provided before the phone transmission was disconnected William Parker, 50, of Jefferson, NY, and his hunting partner had reportedly been hunting along the Cedar River, near Blue Mountain, in the Town of Indian Lake. DEC Forest Rangers responded and began to search the trailheads on Route 28 & 30, but could not locate the hunter’s vehicle. Another phone call was received later in the day describing the hunting party’s location as the first lean-to on the Cedar River Flow. A Forest Ranger then began searching the Northville Lake Placid trail and located the hunting group at 3:45 pm on their return to Wakely Dam. The other hunters in the group had found Mr. Parker ten minutes earlier and were sending him out by canoe. According to Mr. Parker he had become lost in a large swamp early in the day and took most of the day to return to the Cedar River Flow. Know the area you will be hiking or hunting. Always carry a map and compass and use them.
Town of Indian Lake, West Canada Wilderness Area
On Tuesday, October 19, at 4:15 pm, DEC Forest Rangers were requested to assist in the evacuation of a hiker on Snowy Mountain. A 60 year old man from Sydney, Australia had injured is leg approximately 2 miles from the trailhead. Members of the Indian Lake Volunteer Fire Department and the Indian Lake Emergency Medical Services, along with four forest rangers, carried the injured man over several difficult stream crossings and through steep sections of the trail. The man was placed into an ambulance around midnight and transported to a hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Always carry a first aid kit, even on day hikes.
Town of Long Lake, Sargent Ponds Wild Forest
On Sunday, October 24, 2010, at 5:09 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from Hamilton County 911 requesting DEC Forest Rangers assistance in the evacuation of a hiker on the Owl Mountain Trail. Jesica Burnside, 20, of Utica, NY had injured her lower right leg while returning from the summit. DEC Forest Rangers responded and located Ms. Burnside moving slowly just a short distance up the trail. She was transported to the trailhead on an ATV and turned over to Long Lake Emergency Medical Services at 6:30 pm. Back country hiking trails can be rugged and rough, wear a hiking boot or hiking shoe appropriate for the hike.
Town of Thurman, Private Land
On Saturday, October 16, 2010, at 3:13 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call reporting an overdue hunter. Dillian Greeno, 23, of Hudson Falls, NY had been hunting the drainages that lead away from the hunting camp on Shanahan Road. DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching the drainages. At 5:21 pm, Mr. Greeno was located in good condition approximately ½ mile from the camp. Know the area you will be hiking or hunting. Always carry a map and compass and use them.
Town of Bolton, Private Land
On Sunday, October 17, 2010, at 6:19 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from tw hikers reporting they were lost on Cat Mountain. Ming Zhou, 27, of Dewitt, NY, and Amanda Selvam, 26, of Syracuse, NY had followed a red marked trail east but lost the trail and needed help. DEC Forest Rangers responded and began searching the trail system in the area. At 11:30pm, Mr. Zhou called the Dispatch Center and reported that they saw lights and heard the voices of the searchers. Forest Rangers located Mr. Zhou and Ms. Selvam at 11:35 pm. They were escorted to the Edgecomb Road and transported back to their vehicle by another Forest Ranger at 1:30 am. Know the area you will be hiking. Always carry a map and compass and use them.
Town of Fort Ann, Lake George Wild Forest
On Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a call from Washington County 911 reporting a group of lost hikers on the east shore of Lake George, in the vicinity of Shelving Rock. Paul Ziemba, 56, of Lancaster, PA, Cathy Ziemba, 28, of Williamsville, NY, and Karen Ziemba, 27, of Rochester, NY were on the shore of the lake and were planning to stay put until help arrived. A DEC Forest Ranger started to search the lands along the shore in the area of Shelving Rock, while another Forest Ranger searched the from the water in boat. At 5:13 pm the forest ranger in the boat located the group in good health and relayed them back to their vehicle. Know the area you will be traveling. Always carry a map and compass and use them.
Town of Dresden, Lake George Wild Forest
On Sunday, October 17, 2010, at 7:39 pm, the DEC Dispatch Center in Ray Brook received a phone call from Warren County 911 reporting two lost hikers. Peter Urban, 19, of Waterford, NY and a 17 year old female from Clifton Park, NY became lost after hiking to the summit of Black Mountain and attempting to return on the loop trial. A DEC Forest Ranger responded and contacted the two hikers directly. After determining their location based on the information provided by the hikers, the forest ranger directed them to a known location. The forest ranger hiked to the location, met them and escorted them back to their vehicle by 11:00 pm. Know the area you will be hiking. Always carry a map and compass and use them.