Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Rangers assist lost, dehydrated hikers in Essex, Franklin Counties, hiker suffering a seizure near Flowed Lands Lake

forest ranger reportTown of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue: On July 20 at 7:15 a.m., Northern Frontier Camp of Indian Lake contacted Ray Brook Dispatch to report a 17-year-old camper having a seizure near the Flowed Lands Lake. The camper from Delaware was attempting to hike 22 High Peaks in approximately one week. Forest Rangers Evans and Martin responded with the Lake Colden caretaker.

The caretaker reached the subject at the Herbert Brook lean-to and brought them to the Lake Colden Outpost for possible aviation evacuation. At 10:38 a.m., New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation landed at Lake Colden where Rangers helped the subject into the helicopter, which brought the camper to the hospital for further treatment.

Town of Ticonderoga
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 22 at 4:10 p.m., Forest Ranger Kabrehl responded to a call for two hikers who became lost on the Grizzle Ocean Mountain trail and were running out of water. The 43- and 15-year-old hikers from Buskirk were planning to hike the big loop to Pharaoh Lake and back to the Putnam Pond Campground. The hikers made it to Pharaoh Lake and headed toward Grizzle Ocean, but lost the trail near Wolf Pond. The subjects mistakenly thought they were in the Grizzle Ocean outlet and hiked upstream to find the trail. When they became exhausted and dehydrated, they called 911. Ranger Kabrehl found the subjects at 7 p.m., provided water, and helped the pair back to the campground. Resources were clear at 9 p.m.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 24 at 7:40 p.m., Forest Ranger Mecus found an injured hiker on the way down Mount Marcy. The 27-year-old from Ballston Lake became separated from her family at the summit and took a wrong turn at the Phelps junction. The hiker fell in a drainage and hurt her leg. Ranger Mecus bandaged the injury and helped the subject to the Johns Brook outpost. At 10:40 p.m., Ranger Lewis arrived and assisted the hiker to the Garden trailhead. At 12:10 a.m., the hiker was reunited with her family.

Town of Harrietstown
Franklin County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On July 24 at 9:45 p.m., Franklin County 911 requested Forest Ranger assistance for a pair of hikers on the Calkins Brook trail on the way down from Seward Mountain. The 49-year-old from Potsdam was out of water, suffering from dehydration, and didn’t think he could make it to the trailhead. Rangers Curcio, DiCintio, Lewis, O’Connor, and Praczkajlo responded. At 12:40 a.m., Ranger Curcio reached the subject and provided food and water. Rangers helped the hikers to the trailhead where the subject declined further medical care. Resources were clear at 1:50 a.m.

Town of Fine
St. Lawrence County
Forest Ranger Academy:
 The Division of Forest Protection’s 23rd Basic School for Forest Rangers is underway at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Ranger School campus in Wanakena. Ranger recruits recently received training in defensive tactics, community/victim resources, crime prevention, Environmental Conservation Law State land enforcement, deck and seamanship, and Class C vessels including canoes and kayaks. Upon graduation, recruits will be assigned to patrol public lands across the state.

Forest Ranger recruit crime prevention training. DEC photo.

Forest Ranger recruit water training. DEC photo.

State of New York
Becoming a Forest Ranger:
 Individuals interested in helping protect people and natural resources throughout the state by becoming a Forest Ranger are reminded that the deadline to apply for the civil service exam is Aug. 3, 2022. The Civil Service Exam is Sept. 17, 2022. More information is available on the DEC website.


Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NY, Adirondack Backcountry Information, and Catskill Backcountry Information webpages for more information.

If a person needs a Forest Ranger, whether it’s for a search and rescue, to report a wildfire, or to report illegal activity on state lands and easements, they should call 833-NYS-RANGERS.


If a person needs urgent assistance, they can call 911.


To contact a Forest Ranger for information about a specific location, the DEC website has phone numbers for every Ranger listed by region.

Related Stories

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

14 Responses


    I would like to hear from knowledgeable sources. Is the water flowing through the ever present streams so unhealthy that a person should experience dehydration?

    Way back in the dark ages, when I hiked and backpacked in the High Peaks, I drank water directly from the streams. I know Giardia did not exist yet, or at least in the early 1970s had not been identified. Is Giardia and any other dangers, so problematic that a person should not risk a cup of stream water?

    • Boreas says:


      I remember sucking water out of a mud puddle in a col up in the Sewards I was so thirsty. At least that summer, there was NO running water where it was expected, so bottles were empty and the peaks were dry.

      BUT, to answer your question, as far as I know giardia does still exist in the HPW. It was NEVER very common. Keeping dogs leashed helps. Keeping people leashed helps as well. But you would have to sample many sources of slow-moving or stagnant water to become infected today. With today’s filters it should be next to impossible.

      HOWEVER, you are not very likely to die from giardia – especially if any medical attention is sought. Dehydration on the other hand is a killer – any time of year.

      • Tim says:

        ABSOLUTELY. Reading reports about dehydration at a lake drives me nuts! Education about drinking the water needs to be tweaked.

      • Joe H. says:

        I agree that dehydration is way more dangerous than untreated water but am baffled as to why leashing dogs helps prevent giardia?

        • Boreas says:

          Infected animals and humans defecating close to streams help spread the cysts upstream. Even dogs wading/swimming in infected waters down low can carry the cysts to other water bodies in their fur. Of course, all this assumes the human knows that even a dog on a leash can spread the organism. Let’s just say the disease isn’t spread by beavers…

    • Tony Goodwin says:

      I agree with the others that we need to emphasize that Giardia is rare, non-life-threatening, and doesn’t affect you until long after you have safely hiked out of the woods. Then you can be treated in a doctor’s office rather than having rangers hike five miles to bring you a drink of water.

    • Boreas says:

      Another reason to carry GOOD maps, and not relying on Google to let you know where water may or may not be. The actual ADK hiking maps are typically pretty good at distinguishing between a likely dry ravine, and actual water flow. In addition, good maps will likely show you areas of possible human campsites which can be a source of pathogens. Luckily, the 4000 foot camping ban and removal of some high elevation lean-tos (next to streams) have likely reduced the risk.

      I would say most people hiking in the HPW would be relatively safe drinking cold, flowing water up high. People who hike the flatlands and paddle the ponds/marshes a lot should use filters to be safe.

      But you don’t necessarily have to drink the water to get sick. You can also get the protozoans or cysts on your skin and ingest them via your hands later. But again, not too likely with knowledge of the waters you are in and reasonable hygiene.

      • Steve B. says:

        The learning curve seems to be very steep for younger people to realize that a cell phone does not work in a lot of places, and that Google Maps is not going to be available in a lot of places. Likewise, you need an actual headlamp and hand held flashlight and should not rely on a cell phone LED. We read of these rescue scenarios all the time so it seems the lessons are not learned. Not sure what method is needed to get people to pay attention.

  2. Joel Rosenbaum says:

    The folks at Northern Frontier Camp at Indian Lake seem to have missed the point of
    why one hikes in the High Peaks. It is not to see how many peaks one can climb in a short time, bur rather the beauty of where one is hiking, and the gorgeous views one gets at the top; it is the sound of rushing brooks, and of birds, and the freshness of the
    air and the smell of the pines. If there is one thing I’ve learned from hiking in the Park, since 1949, it is to slow down and enjoy it.

  3. Justin Farrell says:

    Just a heads up, there is no trail up Grizzle Ocean Mountain.

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