Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Woman injured by horse, a biker suffers concussion on Lewis County trails

forest ranger reportTown of Watson
Lewis County
Mountain Bike Accident:
 On Aug. 8 at 3:30 p.m., Forest Ranger Evans responded to a call for a mountain biker who suffered a concussion on the Otter Creek Horse Trail approximately one-half mile from the trailhead. When Ranger Evans reached the 54-year-old from Pennsylvania, the subject was complaining of injuries to his knees and elbows and had no memory of what happened.

The subject’s party indicated that he had hit a maple syrup line causing his ejection from the bike. Ranger Evans provided first aid and did a spinal assessment. Ranger Hanno, ECO Jarecki, and Martinsburg Fire helped transport the subject to a Lewis County Search and Rescue ambulance. Resources were clear at 5 p.m.


Town of North Hudson
Essex County
Wildland Fire Update:
 The Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area wildland fire that began Aug. 7, is currently in patrol status. Twelve Forest Rangers and four DEC-trained firefighters continued with suppression efforts throughout the week. The fire is suspected to have started as an unattended campfire before spreading to at least five acres. When weather permitted, Rangers worked with New York State Police Aviation to fly to a safe landing zone approximately one-quarter mile from the fire. Rangers also arrived by boat and hiked approximately three miles in to the fire, which was on a cliff, approximately 300 feet in elevation.

DEC continues to urge New Yorkers to practice the utmost safety when building campfires this summer. Dry weather throughout June and July increased the risk of fires. More information about how to reduce the risk of wildfires can be found at DEC’s website.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area fire. DEC photos.


Town of North Hudson
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 13 at 1:30 p.m., Forest Rangers Quinn, Sabo, and Savarie responded with Assistant Forest Rangers to a call for a hiker with a knee injury on the Lillian Brook trail. When Rangers reached the 51-year-old from Warrensburg, the hiker advised she had dislocated her knee, but as a nurse, knew how to get it back into place. Rangers packaged the subject into a wheeled litter and brought her one-and-a-half miles back to the trailhead. The subject sought further medical attention on her own. Resources were clear at 7:10 p.m.

Lillian Brook trail rescue. DEC photo.

Lewis County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Aug. 14 at 1:50 p.m., Forest Rangers Evans and Lee responded to a call for a subject injured by a horse. The 72-year-old from Owego was at the South Creek Horse Trails in the Independence River Wild Forest. Ranger Evans reached the subject at 2:15 p.m. Her party stated she was walking next to the horse when it reared up and came down on top of her. The subject complained of neck, chest, back, shoulder, and arm pain. Rangers called for aviation assistance and packaged the subject into a litter to carry her one-half mile to Moose Pines Road where Lewis County Search and Rescue EMS met the group with an ambulance. The subject was driven to a landing zone and flown to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse for treatment. Resources were clear at 5 p.m.

Village of Oriskany
Oneida County
Forest Ranger Academy:
 The Division of Forest Protection’s 23rd Basic School for Forest Rangers continued at the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. Ranger recruits recently received training in Swiftwater/Flood Rescue, Emergency Vehicle Operations Course, Nature and Control of Civil Disorder, and Crash Management. Upon graduation, recruits will be assigned to patrol public lands across the state.

Ranger recruits at swiftwater/flood rescue training. DEC photos.

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hike Smart NYAdirondack 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.


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

3 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    Re: Lewis Co. Wilderness Rescue

    I am assuming the injured party was not in the same party as the equestrians, but the report isn’t particularly clear. I believe this is part of the reason horses are not allowed on typical hiking/biking trails. They are typically gentle animals, but they are BIG animals that can startle easily. My way to avoid encounters is to step completely off of the trail and stand still until the horse(s) passes.

    • Steve B. says:

      General rules for mt. bikers is completely yield to horses (and hikers) for the reasons you describe. Not all mt. bikers are aware of the need to yield, even though there is typically good signage of the need to do so. One very popular bike and horse trail is the Tsali Trail system near Nantahela, NC. The system has 2 loops, a loop is open to bikes on alternate days where the 2nd loop is open to horses on those days. It switches the next day. Conflicts are eliminated and its pretty fair for everybody.

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