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.
What follows is a report, prepared by DEC, of recent missions carried out by Forest Rangers in the Adirondacks.
Town of Indian Lake
Wilderness Rescue: On April 4 at 6:20 p.m., Hamilton County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a family of hikers from Johnstown took the wrong trail while visiting Rock Lake in the Blue Mountain Wild Forest area. Dispatch called the family, and with coordinates obtained through 911, placed them near the end of the Rock River Trail about three miles from the trailhead. Forest Ranger Lt. Brian Dubay directed the hikers to head south on the trail and pass straight through the four-way intersection to reach their vehicle. Forest Ranger Gary Miller was notified, responded to the trailhead, and started walking in to meet with the family. At 8:27 p.m., Dispatch contacted the hikers again and requested new coordinates that showed they had taken a left at the intersection and were heading down a snowmobile trail that eventually parallels Route 28. With this information, Ranger Miller returned to his vehicle and drove down Route 28 to the group’s last known location and was able to make voice contact with the family. The Ranger then entered the woods, found the family, and at 9:15 p.m. everyone was out and heading back home.
Town of Warrensburg
Wilderness Rescue: On April 5 at 3:50 p.m., Warren County 911 transferred a call to DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch reporting a group of three girls lost on Hackensack Mountain. A 17-year-old, 10-year-old, and four-year-old from Warrensburg took a walk and lost the trail. Coordinates provided by 911 placed the group in the woods near a private road. Forest Ranger Art Perryman responded to their location and brought the girls out to Pennock Drive where they were met by parents.
The family was told to go straight at the crossroads… So they turn left… Fail.
I’ve hiked that trail… The Rock River trail actually follows the snowmobile trail a short distance before branching off of it again. Without a proper map I can see why they might have gotten confused. I’m not excusing it, just pointing that out. The ranger should have told them turn left then a quick right back to the trailhead.
I’m a very low level hiker but I find it hard to comprehend how you can get lost on either trail.
Rules of thumb: always bring a real map (which would’ve shown the right turn to Rock Lake) and if you’re not sure where the trail leads, don’t be afraid to turn around.
Oops coming back from the lake it’s more left. Regardless, map shows it.
I agree with everyone here…I’ve hiked it years ago at least twice to the Rock River & Back as well as the short trail into Rock Lake itself. You can’t take things for granted and a good trail map, compass/GPS combination are an absolute must for hiking “anywhere”!
The $expense$ in time/effort by State personnel in finding/rescuing folks who are Ill-prepared to hike almost anywhere is astronomical! No worries though, because no doubt a bored Legislator will come up with a new law requiring successful completion of a “Hiking Qualification” course before folks can use our State trails!
Sounds a little far fetched…huh?….but as my Mom used to say “Mark my words”…..
Require some education or triple the number of Rangers and their S&R budget? Which makes the most sense?