Sgt. Alex Lopashanski
May 18, 2020
Albany, NH – On Thursday, May 14, shortly after 9:00 p.m., New Hampshire Fish and Game was notified that a hiker was overdue on the Downes Brook Trail. The hiker was Kevin Moher, 62, of Lyman, NH. Moher had left his home shortly before 7:00 a.m. and planned to take a 12.5-mile loop hike. He left his itinerary with family and instructions that if they did not hear from him by 9:00 p.m. to call for help. They placed that call and a Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy located his vehicle at the trailhead. The search was also assisted by NHSP Trooper who checked trailheads in Wonalancett in the event that Moher had hiked to the opposite side of the mountain range.
Conservation Officers responded and were able to locate Moher’s footprints in the snow within 2.5 miles of the trailhead. The Downes Brook Trail makes several difficult stream crossings and with fading light on the 14th, Moher decided to wait until morning to continue. He was off trail and though he was able to see rescuers pass by him twice, he was unable to signal them and the noise of the river precluded voice contact. There is no cell phone service in the area and his attempts to message his family and tell them he was okay were unsuccessful.
As the light improved on the morning of the 15th, Moher continued hiking and arrived at the trailhead shortly before 5:00 a.m. It is important to note that winter conditions to include deep snow and ice are present in the mountains above 2,000 feet in elevation and are likely to persist for the next several weeks. Anticipating difficult trail conditions and adjusting your itinerary accordingly is necessary. The water is high and stream crossings can be difficult. Anyone venturing out in higher elevations should be equipped with micro-spikes, snowshoes, and extra layers.