There's above and beyond and then there's hiking five miles in the dark to rescue lost hikers. A pair of New York State Troopers saved a pair of unprepared hikers lost in the woods.

State Police shared the story of the eventful night on their Facebook page. Troopers Crystal Rhodes and Chris Amendolare work out of the Margaretville Post south of Oneonta. They received a call about two hikers lost on the trail at about 7:30 pm, it was getting dark, their cellphone was getting poor reception, and battery life was at 2% remaining. It was time to get creative.

Trooper Rhodes drover her vehicle around the road outside the trail using the spotlights and siren in hopes the hikers could find their way out. Meanwhile, Trooper Amendolare canvassed nearby residences in hopes of finding someone who had seen the hikers. Both good plans, but neither idea produced any results.

With no other choice, the Troopers joined by a Forest Ranger, grabbed their flashlights and began walking the trail.  The Loop is nearly 13 miles long and is rated difficult, so it was no easy walk in the woods. After five hours of traversing steep and rugged terrain, they found the hikers at around 12:15 a.m.

As more and more people are hitting the trails during COVID-19; Troopers, Rangers, and other First Responders are being taxed with rescuing unprepared hikers. Never hit the woods without packing these essentials.

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