Hundreds of hikers go missing or get injured in New York State. Some are lucky to make it back home with the help of Forest Rangers. Some are not.

A missing hiker from Sackets Harbor was one of the unlucky ones.

Missing Hiker in Lake Ontario

Forest Rangers were called to find a missing person at Robert G. Wehle State Park in Jefferson County. The hiker's car had been sitting in a parking lot for over 24 hours.

Search crews first found a backpack near the bluff above Lake Ontario. Drones were brought out to fly along the bluff while search crews walked along the shore.

READ MORE: Hiker Falls off Cliff Taking Selfie

A pair of boots, pants, and a cell phone were discovered in different locations.

Search crews found the deceased hiker in the ice about two miles from where they found the backpack.

Two Rescues, One Day

30 Forest Rangers were called in for two separate rescues in the Johns Brook Valley area in Essex County.

One for a 61-year-old hiker from Pittsford who hurt his leg on an icy trail on Saddleback Mountain. The other was a 38-year-old from Maryland who injured his leg while sliding down the icy trail off Basin Mountain.

READ MORE: Forest Rangers Rescue 15 Missing College Students 

Mother Nature made it impossible to fly either hiker out of their location. Rangers had to carry out both on a long and icy hike.

The 61-year-old needs a leg splint. He was also given hypo wrap to keep him warm while 4 Forest Rangers carried him out.

forest rangers rescue injured hiker
Credit - NYS DEC

Ropes & a Sled

The 38-year-old hiker had a shoulder and leg injury at the bottom of a steep mountain.

Forest Rangers had to use a rope system to reach the hiker. Then they had to move him out using a sled system.

READ MORE: BY Land & Air - 2 Hikers Airlifted & Carried Out of Adirondack Mountains

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Stranded on Ice

A hiker stranded on the ice near Kaaterskill Falls in Greene County is lucky to be alive. Other hikers saw the 27-year-old woman from Maryland and called for help. She had sneakers without spikes, which come in handy when trying to walk across icy areas.

A New York Forest Ranger Dawson helped the hiker off the ice, giving her proper spikes and a hiking pole.

READ MORE: 9-Hour Search Rescues Hypothermic Ilion Hiker

SOS Signal

A 70-year-old hiker who had traveled off the trail in the Seward Range in Franklin County had to send an SOS to signal for help.

Forest Rangers found the hiker about a half mile from the Calkins Brook herd path and was able to help him back to where he needed to be.

DEC Forest Rangers conducted 370 search and rescue missions in 2023.

Winter Hiking Safety Tips

Winter hiking can take more energy and time when you're traveling through the snow. Plan trips accordingly and pack the essentials before heading out.

  • Check the weather before entering the woods
  • Be aware of weather conditions at all times
  • Layer clothing - wool, fleece, materials that wick moisture
  • Wear a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outerwear, and winter boots
  • Pack an ice axe, food, and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sunglasses, sunblock protection, bivy sack or space blankets

Remember to eat, drink, and rest often. You're more susceptible to hypothermia when you're tired, hungry, or dehydrated. And NEVER travel alone.

11 People Including Rangers, Climbers and a Helicopter Needed to Rescue Hiker

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

Gallery Credit: Tad Pole

Hiker Comes Within 5 Feet Of Adirondack Male Moose

Gallery Credit: Credit - Dave Wheeler