Lieutenant James Kneeland
September 3, 2020
Lincoln, NH – On Wednesday September 2 at 5:15 p.m., NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers were notified of an injured hiker on the Kinsman Ridge Trail in Lincoln. An SOS alert had been received by the International Rescue Coordination Center from the west side of Mount Wolf. Contact was made with the hiking party, and it was learned that a female hiker had suffered a leg injury somewhere along their traverse of Kinsman Ridge and they were now travelling at a snail’s pace. The hikers were dealing with rain, wind, and dropping temperatures. The hikers were advised to continue westward as best they could and a rescue team would meet them somewhere along the Kinsman Ridge Trail.
A rescue team comprised of 18 volunteers from Pemi Valley Search and Rescue Team and three Conservation Officers was assembled and started in shortly after 6:30 p.m. At 8:15 p.m., the first team of rescuers reached the injured hiker 2.5 miles from the trailhead on Route 112 and determined that the injury prevented the hiker from continuing and that she would need to be carried. Rescuers carried through a steady rain while having to traverse many steep up and down stretches of trail, reaching the trailhead at 11:20 p.m.
The hiker was identified as 60-year-old Veronica Nagle of Plymouth, New Hampshire. Nagle and her party of three other hikers had departed from The Liberty Spring Trailhead at 6:30 a.m. and were attempting to complete the section of the Appalachian Trail that crosses along Kinsman Ridge to Route 112. Somewhere along the hike, Nagle suffered a leg injury that slowed her down but the group felt they could complete the hike. The injury became steadily worse, and eventually it was decided that they would push the SOS button on the SPOT device that they were carrying to get help. This alerted the International Rescue Coordination Center who then alerted officials in New Hampshire. Without the many volunteers showing up on a rainy night, this rescue could have taken much longer.
Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at wildnh.com/safe. The card helps support Fish and Game search and rescue activities. For safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear, visit hikesafe.com.