Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Lost hikers stuck in swamp conditions in Oneida County; unprepared Allen Mountain hikers

forest ranger report

Town of Lake Pleasant
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 23 at 11:15 a.m., Forest Ranger Lieutenant Kerr and Rangers Temple and Thompson responded to an emergency beacon activation in the West Canada Lake Wilderness area. When Ranger Temple reached the Moose River Plains trailhead, a hiker came out of the woods and reported that a hiker in their group had hurt her knee and was slowly making her way back to the trailhead.

The friend was retrieving the injured hiker’s backpack to make the trip easier. Ranger Temple hiked in, found the injured hiker, and determined the 62-year-old from Staten Island had a swollen, but stable, knee. Ranger Temple bandaged the knee for compression purposes and helped the hiker to the trailhead by 2:30 p.m. The subject said she would seek medical treatment on her own.


Towns of Hadley and Warrensburg
Saratoga and Warren Counties
On Sept. 22 and 23, five Forest Ranger American Canoe Association (ACA) instructors participated in an instructor’s class hosted by Mather Rescue. To maintain their instructor credentials, Rangers are required to take the class every four years. The Ranger instructors demonstrated swiftwater rescue techniques to raft guides and other Forest Rangers where the Sacandaga meets the Hudson.

American Canoe Association training. DEC photo.

American Canoe Association training. DEC photo.

City of Rome
Oneida County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 23 at 6:55 p.m., Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) Starczek, Howe, and Gates alerted Forest Ranger Lieutenant Hoag about an Oneida County Sheriff’s Office search for two lost hikers in the Rome Sand Plains Unique Area. The Sheriff’s Office had coordinates for the lost subjects. ECOs and Sheriff’s deputies used sirens to guide the subjects out, but the subjects were stuck in deep swamp conditions. Lieutenant Hoag, Ranger Bills, and ECO Gates navigated through the water and mud and located the group. The hikers kept losing their footwear due to the muddy conditions, and with the thick vegetation, were unlikely to find their way out alone. The Rangers and ECO helped the 54-year-old from Liverpool, NY, and 58-year-old from Cicero, NY, to a waiting ambulance at Hogsback Road. Resources were clear by 10 p.m.

Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 24 at 4 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with three hikers who became ill while hiking Mount Colden. Ranger Curcio made phone contact with the hikers and instructed them to head back down the mountain. At 6:30 p.m., Assistant Forest Ranger (AFR) Kelly hiked up to the three subjects from Quebec and walked them to Avalanche Lake. Other than fatigue, the subjects were healthy and did not require medical attention. AFR Kelly rowed the two 26-year-olds and 31-year-old across the lake so they could get to their vehicle. Resources were clear at 10:30 p.m.

Town of Newcomb
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 24 at 10:45 p.m. Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with three subjects who ran out of daylight while hiking Allen Mountain. The 19-year-old, 22-year-old, and 23-year-old from Ogdensburg started their 19-mile round trip hike at 10 a.m. The group reached the summit at 4:30 p.m., but didn’t realize sunset was at 6:47 p.m. The hikers did not have headlamps or flashlights and became lost on the way down. Ranger Quinn reached the hikers and assisted them down to their vehicle. DEC reminds hikers to be prepared with light sources as daylight grows shorter. The lights on cell phones only last as long as the battery and should not be relied on as the primary source of light after sunset.

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.

Related Stories

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

5 Responses

  1. adk says:

    here we go again… Unprepared hikers should be ticketed somehow

  2. Bill Ott says:

    My name is Bill Ott. I have been doing the Adks since about 73. I have had the rangers called on me twice.
    The first time Peggy called the rangers after I was supposed to call her. I was off by one day. I was just beaching the canoe as ranger Will Benzel’s truck was making the same beaching sound. I remember this like it were yesterday. I am about to stand up to pull the canoe out and he asks “Are you Bill Ott”. I answer, “Yes.” He replies, “You just made my job a lot easier.”
    We all have coincidences in our short time here, but I was to experience a one-timer the next year. The next time, Peggy called a day early. The ranger vehicle arrived just as I was beaching. I mean just like before. I cannot remember her name, but ever since she showed up, I have remembered her. The coincidence is unbelievable, but it did happen.
    I have had a lot of other expediencies and this is the first one I have ever wanted to relate. How sad.

  3. Boreas says:

    Fatigue rescue? Wish that was a thing when I was actively hiking.

  4. Tim says:

    They should meet them at the trailhead with a cup of hot chocolate.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox