DEC rangers locate missing drunk man, aid injured hikers, quell forest fire near Adirondacks

A drunk 19-year-old man wandered away from his campsite at 11 a.m. in the Hamilton County town of Wells, telling his buddies he was going fishing in the nearby West Branch of Sacanadaga River. When the young man didn’t return, his buddies called New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) forest rangers for help in finding him.

Around 10 p.m., rangers found the young man in the woods not far from the campsite. After further investigation, rangers issued tickets to six people for possession of alcohol by a minor on state land, then turned the whole crew over to their parents.

That’s one of several ranger rescues in the wilderness in the first half of June.

The following reports are excerpted from DEC:

On June 6, forest rangers helped search for a 26-year-old man who whose family was concerned about his welfare after he left a rehabilitation facility in the Orange County town of Walkill. It didn’t take long for rangers to find the man in the woods nearby, uninjured. They walked the man out and turned him over to Walkill Police.

A 65-year-old hiker from Oneonta twisted his knee on the evening of June 9 while hiking the Poet’s Ledge Trail in Kaaterskill Wild Forest. Rangers found the man approximately two miles up the trail, splinted his knee, and gave him crutches. Then they helped the man crutch down the trail until two more rangers arrived in a utility terrain vehicle. The group reached the trailhead just before midnight, and the hiker declined further medical attention.

Five days later, a 30-year-old hiker from Virginia twisted her ankle while climbing Algonquin Peak in the Adirondacks. Three rangers reached her within an hour, splinted her injury, then helped her down the mountain.

On June 19, forest rangers helped put out a wildfire in the Clinton County town of Black Brook.

A seven-acre wild fire broke out on June 19 in the Clinton County town of Black Brook. Two rangers, along with Saranac and Au Sable Forks fire departments, contained the fire. More rangers arrived to help the next morning and the fire was extinguished by noon time.

A 22-year-old from Pennsylvania suffered a head injury in Avalanche Pass on the evening of June 16. Within two hours, rangers made contact with the woman and her hiking group not far from Marcy Dam and guided them back to the trailhead.

Steve Featherstone covers the outdoors for The Post-Standard, and Contact him at or on Twitter @featheroutdoors. You can also follow along with all of our outdoors content at or follow us on Facebook at

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