New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents in the Adirondacks. Working with other state agencies, local emergency response organizations and volunteer search and rescue groups, Forest Rangers locate and extract lost, injured or distressed people from the Adirondack backcountry.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.
Town of Ticonderoga
Wilderness Search: At 11:37 am on May 14, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 reporting a dropped call from a lost female hiker on Treadway Mountain in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area. No additional cell phone communications were possible due to poor cell coverage in the area. Forest Rangers were dispatched to the area of the cell phone call coordinates and made voice contact with the hiker at 2:12 pm. The Rangers helped rehydrate the hiker and walked her out to the trailhead by 3:25 pm. The hiker had become lost on an outcropping near the summit and could not find her way back to the trail.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Search: On May 17 at 10:51 pm, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker separated from his hiking partner on Cascade and Porter mountains. The two male teens split up on Porter to join back up on Cascade for sunset. When one hiker had not heard from the other, he proceeded back up Porter and then to the trailhead in hopes of meeting up with his friend. Upon reaching the trailhead, the hiking partner was not there and realized that all the headlamps were at the trailhead with him. Forest Ranger James Giglinto contacted the hiker by phone and concluded that the other hiker may have descended the wrong trail off Porter. Three Forest Rangers started hiking in at three different locations — Marcy Field, The Garden, and Route 73 trailheads. By 2:15 am, a Ranger located the missing hiker just above Little Porter Mountain. By 4:10 am, the hikers were reunited in Keene Valley.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Search: On May 19 at 11:36 am, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a transferred call from Franklin County 911 regarding a 22-year-old female hiker and her dog lost on Scarface Mountain. The subject became lost while attempting to get a better view near the top of the mountain. One Ranger responded and located the subject and her dog at 2:12 pm, near coordinates provided by Franklin County 911. The subject was in good health and was assisted out of the woods and back to her vehicle by 4:38 pm.
Town of North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: At 9:46 pm on May 26, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiking party reporting that a 35-year-old woman from Norwich had fallen ill due to exhaustion hiking up Mount Marcy. The exhaustion caused the woman to stumble and fall on several occasions during her descent. Forest Ranger Robert Praczkajlo was dispatched to the South Meadow Trailhead with an UTV to meet the party at Marcy Dam for a courtesy ride back out. Several downed trees from recent storms blocked the truck trail to Marcy Dam and needed to be cleared along the way. Subjects were located at Marcy Dam, dehydrated and suffering from cramps due to lack of fluids. At 12:30 am, the hikers were out of the woods and Rangers were clear of the scene.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Rescue: At 5:06 pm on May 27, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from the AuSable Mountain Club regarding a 28-year-old woman from Syracuse who had become dehydrated and fallen while descending Pyramid Mountain. Ranger Robert Praczjaklo responded and located the subject on the Pyramid Mountain Trail. The woman was ambulatory upon his arrival. The Ranger assisted the subject and her hiking group back to the parking lot. The subject stated she would seek further medical care on her own. The Ranger was back in service at 5:47 pm.
Town of Keene
Wilderness Search: At 8:20 pm on May 27, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from Rangers at the Adirondack Loj who reported an overdue hiker from the Algonquin Loop. At 8:46 pm, a 26-year-old man from Rensselaer stated he believed to be approximately 20 minutes from the trailhead, but was uncertain of which trail he was on. The man was disoriented by dense fog cover, followed another group over to Lake Colden, and realized he was in the wrong place. The man was then pointed in the right direction and began his descent. Three Forest Rangers commenced search efforts after the man failed to arrive at the Loj at his estimated time. Rangers located the subject at 9:47 pm, coming down the trail from the Marcy Dam. The subject had sustained a knee injury during his descent. The man was assessed, treated, and assisted back to his vehicle. All units cleared the scene at 10:06 pm.
Town of Franklin
Wildland Fire: On May 24, Forest Ranger Scott Sabo responded to a report of a wildland fire at Buck Pond Campground. The .5-acre wildfire was contained and determined to have escaped control from a campfire left unattended, subsequently burning into an adjacent campsite causing damage to a camper.
Town of Harrietstown
Water Rescue: On May 25 at 4:50 pm, Ray Brook Dispatch received a request for assistance in locating a subject who had overturned his kayak on Middle Saranac Lake. The caller advised that he and a friend became separated on the water and that he was concerned he could not see his friend. The missing subject, a 39-year-old from Oneida, was transporting supplies across the lake to a camping site. Rangers responded to South Creek at 5:30 pm, in an attempt to locate the missing kayaker. An Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) vessel was patrolling nearby and was requested for assistance. As Rangers and Saranac Lake Rescue were searching the area for the subject, the ECO located the man on Tamarack Island in good condition. The subject advised that choppy water, rain, and the supplies in his kayak caused it to capsize. After an interview, the subject was released to a private party piloting a boat. He was transported back to his site and reunited with the reporting party.
Town of Lake Pleasant
Campground Enforcement: At 6:20 am on May 27, DEC Central Dispatch received a request for Forest Ranger assistance from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff’s Deputies and New York State Police had previously responded to a report of a disturbance at Moffit’s Beach Campground. Campers had heard a loud argument at a neighboring site and called 911. The original call came through as a possible domestic dispute at 4:36 am. Arriving on scene, Rangers were made aware that the disturbance originated with an intoxicated male acting in a disorderly manner. Rangers assisted campground staff with the eviction of all persons at the problem site. All units cleared the area at 11 am.
St. Lawrence County
Town of Fine
Wildland Fire: On May 18, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from St. Lawrence County 911 reporting a wildland fire on the corner of Twin Lake Road and Rt. 3 in the hamlet of Star Lake. Dispatch also received reports of additional fires along Route 3. Forest Rangers and fire departments from Star Lake, Newton Falls, Fine, Edwards, Russell, and Cranberry Lake responded for fire suppression efforts. The fire moved quickly through leaf litter in the hardwood forest but quickly came under controlled status, with 10.1 acres burned. An investigation determined the fires were started by equipment along the road.
Town of Johnsburg
Wilderness Rescue: On May 16 at 3:58 pm, DEC Central Dispatch received a call reporting a male hiker lost near Crane Mountain. The hiker reported that he was exploring the new Open Space Institute property on Huckleberry Mountain, got disoriented on one of the old forest roads, and found himself in unfamiliar territory atop steep slopes. He was not prepared to navigate or stay overnight and was concerned about being able to make it out before dark. The call was transferred to Ray Brook Dispatch and the hiker’s coordinates were used to determine his location north of Crane Mountain on a small knob just south of Huckleberry Mountain. Forest Rangers made phone contact with the hiker and requested that he remain in the location. Rangers responded and found the subject in good shape about a mile from the road. He was escorted back to his vehicle with no further incident.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information about where you intend to travel. The Adirondack Almanack reports weekly Outdoor Conditions each Thursday afternoon.