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 North Elba
Wilderness Rescue: On Oct. 19 at 10:28 am, Essex County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch from a hiker on the Henry’s Woods Trail reporting that her mother, a 61-year-old female from Hamilton, Ontario, had possibly broken her ankle. Coordinates placed the hikers on the main loop trail about one mile in from the trailhead. Forest Rangers Daniel Fox and Robbi Mecus located the hiker and brought the woman out using an UTV. At 11:58 am, the hikers were out of the woods and advised they would seek further medical attention on their own.
Town of Webb
Wilderness Rescue: On Oct. 14 at 3:25 pm, Forest Ranger Matthew Savarie overheard radio traffic from Herkimer County regarding a lost female hiker near Grass Pond in the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness Area. Forest Rangers Savarie and Scott Jackson responded to the trailheads near Okara Lakes to search for the hiker. At 4:57 pm, Forest Ranger Savarie and two officers from the Webb Police Department located the 50-year-old hiker from Old Forge. She had been trying to reach Middle Settlement Lake and found herself on the east side of Grass Pond. The hiker returned to her camp by 5:38 pm, and search staff were cleared of the scene.
Town of Brighton
Wilderness Rescue: On Oct. 20 at 3:14 pm, DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker on St. Regis Mountain reporting an injured hiker. Forest Rangers carrying an injured hiker on a dark trail lit by their headlamps. The injured 18-year-old male from Alfred Station, New York, was less than a mile from the St. Regis summit with an unstable lower leg injury. The hiker reported that he had tripped over tree roots and heard a snap in his ankle. Six Forest Rangers responded and were assisted by members of Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks (SARNAK) and the Paul Smiths – Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department. Due to steep terrain and the length of the trail, a nearby camp agreed to give rescuers access to their property to reach the injured hiker’s location and evacuate him via an old fire road. The first Ranger reached the injured hiker at 6:20 pm. Upon assessment of the injury, the subject’s leg was splinted, and the hiker was packaged into a litter and carried down with backpack carriers. Once off the steep slope, the litter was attached to a wheel and brought back via the access road. The hiker was then transported via Ranger vehicle off private property to the trailhead at 7:54 pm. Saranac Lake Rescue transported the subject to a local hospital.
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.