Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

For Release: Tuesday, August 30, 2016

DEC Statewide Forest Ranger Search and Rescue Highlights

Forest Ranger Actions for 8/22 - 8/28/16

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers respond to search and rescue incidents statewide. 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 from the backcountry.

"Across New York, DEC's Forest Rangers' are on the front lines helping people safely enjoy the great outdoors," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Their knowledge of first aid, land navigation and technical rescue techniques are critical to the success of their missions which take them from remote wilderness areas, with rugged mountainous peaks to white-water rivers, and throughout our vast forested areas statewide."

Recent missions carried out by DEC Forest Rangers include:

Clinton County
Town of Dannemora
Chazy Highlands Wild Forest
Lost Hikers:
On August 23, 2016 at 9:40 p.m., State Police contacted DEC Ray Brook Dispatch reporting lost hikers on Lyon Mountain. A 70-year-old woman from Ellenburg, NY hiked up the mountain with her two grandchildren - an 18-year-old male and 11-year-old female, both from Albany, NY. The trio headed up the mountain after the woman dropped her husband off to pick berries. The husband contacted Clinton County 911 when the three hikers did not return and Clinton County contacted State Police. A DEC Forest Ranger responded with members of the Lyon Mountain fire Department and searched the old and new trails to the summit without any contact with the lost hikers. The Forest Ranger then conducted a search along the state land boundary along another access point to no avail. Rangers suspended search efforts at 5:00 a.m. On August 24, at approximately 7:00 a.m., four Forest Rangers and members of the Lyon Mountain Fire Department continued the search. A Forest Ranger located them at 7:14 a.m. and escorted them to the Lyon Mountain Fire Department where Lyon Mountain EMS evaluated and released them. The incident concluded at 8:18 a.m.

Essex County
Town of Keene
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost Hiker:
On August 27, 2016, at 8:40 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a report of a 19-year-old male hiker from Hopkinton, MA, who became separated from his group. He was last seen descending from the tree line on Mt. March at 2:45 p.m. A DEC Forest Ranger responded to the Adirondak Loj Trailhead to meet with the other members of the group. The Forest Ranger suspended search efforts at 1:00 a.m. Four Forest Rangers, a DEC Interior Caretaker and a Summit Steward resumed the search on August 28, 2016 at 6:00 a.m. The rescuers searched a number of sections of trail from multiple access points. They located the missing hiker at 8:04 a.m. at the Adirondak Loj in good health. The hiker took a wrong turn while descending Mt. Marcy and went up Haystack where he spent the night in Panther Gorge. In the morning he hiked back over Mt. Marcy and out to the Adirondak Loj.

Town of Newcomb
High Peaks Wilderness
Lost Hiker:
On August 27 at 10:20 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a radio transmission from the Interior Caretaker at the Lake Colden Outpost reporting an overdue hiker. The hiker was supposed to meet his wife and others near the Lake Colden Outpost, but had not arrived. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the Upper Works Trailhead where they located the hikers' vehicle. The Forest Rangers hiked from Upper Works at 11:30 p.m. to the Lake Colden Outpost, arriving at 3:00 a.m. without locating the lost hiker. The two Forest Rangers were joined by an Assistant Forest Ranger and the Interior Caretaker in the morning when search efforts continued. The Interior Caretaker located the lost man at 7:44 a.m. near the Calamity Lean-to. The two returned to the Lake Colden Dam where the lost hiker was reunited with his group. The incident concluded at 8:30 a.m.

Hamilton County
Town of Indian Lake
Sargent Ponds Wild Forest
Lost Hikers:
On August 24, 2016 at 8:40 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Hamilton County 911 regarding two lost hikers on Castle Rock. The 29-year-old man from Redford, MI, and 30-year-old female from South Hadley, MA, were off trail after sunset in the dark. Two DEC Forest Rangers responded to the trailhead. GPS coordinates of the pair's phone were not available to the 911 Operator. The DEC Dispatcher established text contact and directed the caller to send a screenshot of their coordinates. The dispatcher forwarded coordinates to the two responding Forest Rangers who located the hikers in good health at that location. The hikers were approximately 30 yards from the trail on a herd path. Forest Rangers escorted the hikers back to their vehicle at 11:40 p.m.

St. Lawrence County
Town of Fine
Five Ponds Wilderness
Stricken Hiker:
On August 27, 2016, at 8:18 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from St Lawrence County 911 requesting assistance for a 25-year-old man from Quarryville, PA, who was having an allergic reaction to bee stings near the summit of Cat Mountain. Four DEC Forest Rangers and 12 Rescue Volunteers responded via boat to Janack's Landing on the southwestern shore of Cranberry Lake. The rescuers hiked three miles to the summit of the mountain. The stricken man was assisted back down to the boat and brought back to the Cranberry Lake Boat Launch. He was transported to Clifton-Fine Hospital by Star Lake Rescue. The incident concluded at 2:49 a.m. on August 28, 2016.

Warren County
Town of Johnsburg
Siamese Pond Wilderness
Lost Hiker:
On August 24, 2016, at 6:41 p.m., Ray Brook Dispatch received a call reporting that a 14-year-old boy from Milton, MA was unaccounted for after hiking Peaked Mountain. The young man had gone ahead of the group when they left the summit but was not at the trailhead when group members arrived there. Three DEC Forest Rangers responded and arrived at the trailhead at 7:30 p.m. The Forest Rangers searched the trail and herd paths while the DEC Dispatcher maintained contact via text with the family members waiting at the trailhead. They located the hiker at 12:45 a.m. in good condition in a drainage approximately one mile northwest of the summit of Peaked Mountain. The hiker had lost the trail at the summit and continued down the opposite side of the mountain. He was returned to the trailhead and waiting family members at 4:00 a.m.

Greene County
Town of Hunter
Kaaterskill Wild Forest
Injury on state land:
On August 28, 2016, at 1:00 p.m., Forest Rangers received word that a 26-year-old man who was jumping from rock to rock near Fawns Leap slipped and fell approximately five feet and sustained a right ankle injury. The subject was not wearing any foot wear. Two Rangers responded and determined the man's foot had circulation, sensation and motion. Rangers stabilized the leg and foot with a splint and set up a low angle technical rope system to bring the man out of the creek bed and back up to Route 23A with the assistance of local fire department personnel. They released the man to his friend where he signed off on any further medical care with the paramedics and was driven to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady by a friend. The scene was cleared by 2:30 p.m. Other involved agencies included Hunter police department, Hunter ambulance, Greene County paramedics, Tannersville volunteer fire department, and Haines Falls volunteer fire department.

Greene County
Town of Hunter
Lost woman:
On August 28, 2016, at 1:55 p.m., the Hunter police department contacted DEC seeking assistance in the search for an elderly woman who had left her house in Haines Falls around 12:30 p.m. to go for a walk and had not returned. Three Rangers responded and helped conduct a search with the Hunter police department, Greene County sheriff's office, New York State Police, Haines Falls volunteer fire department, Tannersville volunteer fire department, and two local volunteers on horseback. They located the woman at 4:45 p.m. in good health. Searchers walked her out to a dirt road and Hunter Police drove her back to her residence. Rangers evaluated the woman's condition and she declined medical treatment. The incident concluded at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry.

Visit DEC's Hiking Safety and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

  • Contact for this Page
  • Press Office - Jomo Miller
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1016
    email us
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Adirondacks region