Sgt. Alex Lopashanski
November 1, 2021
Jackson, NH – On Saturday, October 30, shortly before 8:00 p.m., New Hampshire Fish and Game was notified that a hiker was missing on the Rocky Branch Trail in the area of Mt. Isolation. The hiker was Michael Papale, 31, of Boston, MA. Papale was hiking Mt. Isolation with friends. He stopped short of the summit and the rest of the group continued. They planned to meet him on the way back down and when they returned he was gone. Papale left items on the trail so that his friends would know he was descending. When the group returned to their vehicle and he was not there they drove to get cell phone service and called for assistance.
Conservation Officers responded and searched for him throughout the night. Heavy rain and high, fast-moving streams added to the challenge of locating Papale. He had missed a turn and was hiking out on a much longer trail. Papale was overcome by darkness and found a rocky area off trail to take shelter through the night. In the morning, he regained the trail and hiked out to a trailhead and was given a ride into town by a passerby. Shortly before 10:30 a.m., on Sunday, October 31, he was able to make a phone call alerting everyone that he was okay and out of the woods.
Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to purchase a Hike Safe card at www.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.