Forest Rangers have been busy rescuing a number of missing hikers in New York including 15 college students who became stranded.

The Labor Day holiday weekend was popular for hikers, campers, and water enthusiasts, some of whom may not have been prepared for the harsh side of Mother Nature. Thankfully New York Forest Rangers came to the rescue.

College Students Stranded

15 college students rafting the Hudson Gorge became stranded where the Boreas and Hudson Rivers meet on Labor Day. The group got stuck a short distance upstream from the railroad bridge.

Forest Rangers helped walk the group to the tracks where they were all able to pedal back thanks to the Revolution Rail Company.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Mount Colden Fall

Earlier in the day, Forest Rangers helped rescue a 19-year-old who fell while going down Mount Colden in Essex County. The New Jersey teen hit his head and suffered a leg injury making it difficult for him to walk.

A helicopter was flown in to lower Ranger Praczkajlo down to the hiker where he was pulled up and taken to the hospital. He then hiked out with the rest of the group.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Hiker Breaks Ankle

Rangers were called to help a hiker with a possible broken ankle on Sunday, September 3. Firefighters helped carry out the 47-year-old from OK Slip Falls Trail in Indian Lake.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Whiteface Broken Ankle

Another hiker broke an ankle hiking Whiteface Mountain on Saturday, September 2. Her boyfriend was able to carry her for about a quarter of a mile before calling for help.

Several Forest Rangers arrived and splintered the hiker's fractured leg before using a backpack carrier system to carry her to safety.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Hiking Safety

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offers several tips to hike safely.

  • Wear proper boots or shoes designed for hiking.
  • Know the weather forecast; plan and prepare based on current and forecasted conditions.
  • Know and plan for the route and terrain you plan to hike and the conditions you may encounter.
  • Pack a day pack with the 10 essentials, including a map, compass, GPS, proper clothing, emergency kit, food, water, sunscreen, and bug repellent. 
  • Stay in your group when hiking. Always have at least the person in front of you and the person behind you within your sight and all of the group within hearing distance.
  • Sign in and out of all trail registers that you encounter.
  • Call the DEC Central Dispatch at 518-408-5852, or in the Adirondacks at 518-891-0235, to report a lost, injured, or stricken hiker or other backcountry emergency.

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injured climber rescued by New York Forest Rangers, Assistants and Volunteer Climbers

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DEC Rescues 7 Animals in 20 Days

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation rescues humans lost or hurt while hiking, boating or just enjoying the great outdoors. But they also rescue the animals that call the outdoors home. Officers have rescued 7 animals in the last 20 days alone.

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