Sgt. Heidi Murphy
October 23, 2021

Franconia, NH – At approximately 4:40 p.m. on October 22, 2021, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was notified of an injured hiker on the Garfield Trail near the Garfield shelter. The hiker was identified as Kaitlyn Lachance, 23, of Weymouth, MA. Lachance and four friends had started ascending Mt. Garfield at noon. Lachance and one friend had stopped short of the summit and decided to take a break and go back down the trail. Lachance was walking over steep and muddy terrain when she fell and injured her lower leg making her unable to walk any further. The rest of the party caught up with Lachance and decided to call 911 because they knew they would need assistance getting her back to the trailhead approximately 4 miles away.

Conservation Officers and volunteers from Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue and Adroscoggin Valley Search and Rescue teams started up the trail at 6:10 p.m. The first volunteers reached Lachance at 7:36 p.m. and evaluated her condition. Conservation Officers were able to utilize ATVs and got within 1.5 miles of Lachance’s location. Lachance and the rest of her party arrived safely back to the trailhead at 10:55 p.m.

New Hampshire Fish and Game is a self-funded agency which relies heavily upon volunteer rescue groups to complete the mission of search and rescue in the woodlands of the state. The public is encouraged to help support search and rescue activities in the state by purchasing a Hike Safe card. New Hampshire Fish and Game also reminds hikers to prepare themselves before venturing out into the wilderness, including packing the ten essential items: map, compass, warm clothing, extra food and water, headlamp/flashlight, fire starter, first aid kit, whistle, rain/wind jackets and pants, and a knife. For additional information, please visit