Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Rangers assist lost hikers near Dippikill Pond, stranded subject who fell into Austin Falls

forest ranger reportTown of Benson
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Sept. 28 at 6 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with two hikers who became separated from each other on the Northville Placid Trail. Rangers Miller, Nally, and Thompson responded to the area and started checking trail registers before searching three different sections of the first 18 miles of the trail.

Ranger Thompson located the 35-year-old from Arizona asleep at the primitive campsite where the hikers originally planned to meet. The hikers unknowingly passed each other at one point. Rangers ensured the hikers met up the following day.

Town of Thurman
Warren County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 1, at 9:30 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with students lost near Dippikill Pond. Ranger Thompson contacted the students via phone and responded to the area, where the Ranger made voice contact and reached the students a short time later. The students were cold, hungry, and thirsty, but healthy. The young people were on a day retreat through a local university, but the buses left while they were lost in the woods. Ranger Thompson provided warm clothing, food, water, and headlamps, and led the students out of the woods to the Dippikill Wilderness Retreat facility where they stayed until one of their parents picked them up the following morning. Resources were clear at 1:30 a.m.

Ranger Thompson rescues hikers near Dippikill Pond. DEC photo.

Town of Wells
Hamilton County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m., Forest Ranger Thompson heard radio traffic about a 19-year-old who fell into Austin Falls on the Sacandaga River and was stranded on the west side of the river. Ranger Thompson hiked down, located the subject from Speculator, and helped her back to her parents on the east side of the river. Speculator Fire/EMS, Wells Fire, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputies, and Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance also responded.


Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 8 at 4:39 p.m., a hiker called 911 to report another hiker on Algonquin Peak near McIntyre Falls was suffering from headaches and dizziness. Forest Ranger Mecus responded and reached the 51-year-old from Quebec at 5:50 p.m. Ranger Mecus helped the subject down the trail where they were met by Ranger Praczkajlo in a UTV to transport them back to the trailhead. The subject declined further medical attention. Resources were clear at 6:43 p.m.


Town of North Elba
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 9 at 11:20 a.m., Ray Brook Dispatch requested Forest Ranger assistance with a hiker suffering from a non-ambulatory leg injury approximately three-quarters of the way up the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East trail. Rangers Mecus, O’Connor, and Praczkajlo responded along with an ORDA medic. The medic reached the 49-year-old from Croghan at 12:03 p.m. Rangers and the medic packaged the subject in a litter and carried her out to the trailhead where Lake Placid Ambulance then transported the subject to Adirondack Medical Center. Resources were clear at 2 p.m.


Town of Willsboro
Essex County
Wilderness Rescue:
 On Oct. 9 at 1:10 p.m., Ranger Black responded to Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain for two subjects unable to continue on the trail due to rocky and wet terrain. Ranger Black spoke to the subjects on the phone and told the pair to stay where they were. Ranger Black reached the hikers from Big Flats at 2:42 p.m. The hikers were well-prepared for a day hike and able to shelter in place during a rainstorm. Ranger Black assisted the hikers back to the trailhead by 3:15 p.m.


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.

4 Responses

  1. Dennis Barrett says:

    Most hikers would benefit in using a Spot, InReach or similar gps tracking device

    • Steve B. says:

      And pay the monthly service fee ?, not to mention paying for the insurance plan if you choose to press SOS ?. Calling 911 on you’re iPhone/flashlight/only map is so much cheaper.

  2. Tim says:

    Maybe I’m not reading the whole story but some of these rescues are getting ridiculous:
    —the bus leaves 2 of their hikers behind?
    —rocky and rainy on Poke-O-Moonshine means call the rangers?

  3. Steve says:

    I think you misunderstood what you read. The students were lost in the woods and the buses didn’t wait around until they were found and led out of the woods.

    Ideally people wouldn’t blunder into conditions that are beyond their capability, but I’m pretty sure that when you call a ranger and they tell you to stay put until they get there that calling the ranger was a good idea. Of course if anyone wants to just press on ahead like this guy [ ] I’ll support their right to do so, but I think they deserve fair warning first.

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