MOUNT WASHINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Two hikers who lost their way in a Massachusetts forest during a nor’easter were rescued early Wednesday morning.
According to the Massachusetts State Police, at 7:48 p.m. Tuesday, one of the hikers called 911. The caller told troopers he and his friend had gone for a hike on the Alander Trail in Mount Washington State Forest but because of the bad weather and darkness, they could no longer see the trail markings and could not continue to a cabin they were headed to at the mountain peak.
The heavy falling snow covered their tracks and they could not retrace their steps back out of the forest.
The state forest encompasses 4,619 acres of state land located on Massachusetts’ border with New York and Connecticut.
The hikers said that they were approximately two miles into the forest. They were told to stay where they were while a search and rescue team equipped with snowmobiles would head out.
Due to the winter storm, trees and power lines were down in the area of the state forest. By 11:15 p.m., National Grid employees had shut power to downed lines so the road to the trail entrances could be cleared and the search team of six was able to deploy.
At around 12:09 a.m., with over two feet of snow, the snowmobiles were unable to drive on the trail, so the team began the two-mile walk to find the hikers. They were located at around 2:30 a.m. suffering from fatigue and cold temperatures, but were not injured.
The group hiked back out of the forest and arrived at the DCR headquarters building near the trail entrance around 4:48 a.m. Wednesday morning. The two men, aged 47 and 53, were taken to the hospital for evaluation due to their fatigue and cold weather exposure. The command post was cleared by 6:20 a.m.