Lieutenant Mark Ober
September 26, 2022
Thompson and Meserves Purchase, NH – New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers were notified of an injured hiker on the Great Gulf Trail at a location known as the Bluff on Sunday morning, September 25 at around 10:10 a.m. The hiker, identified as Susan Hartley, 61, of Groveton, NH, had suffered two separate leg injuries while hiking up the trail on Friday.
Hartley was with two other family members and a friend and was planning on a multi-day hiking and camping trip. They had intended on camping at a location further up the trail, but following her injury set up camp at the Bluff, approximately 2.5 miles from the Great Gulf parking lot. Hartley stayed at this location all day Saturday and was prepared to stay multiple days in order to be able to hike out on her own, but the pain and inability to walk for any length of time caused her to reassess this decision. When Sunday morning arrived with any attempt to move only exacerbating the injuries, a call to 911 was made.
Multiple volunteer rescuers from Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue (AVSAR), Lakes Region Search and Rescue (LRSAR), and a US Forest Service LEO (USFS) along with Conservation Officers responded to the call. Most rescuers hiked in 2.5 miles to reach Hartley. Two Conservation Officers were able to utilize ATVs and get to the Wilderness boundary, approximately 1 mile from Hartley’s location.
The first rescuers on scene provided medical care by treating the injuries. After treating the injuries, they were able to begin assisting Hartley down the trail. At approximately 1:30 p.m., it was determined that the best course of action was to place Hartley in a litter and carry her the rest of the way down to the waiting ATVs. From there she was placed on the back of an ATV and driven out to Dolly Copp Road.
Hartley had planned for a multi-day camping trip and was sufficiently prepared for an extended stay. No further information is available at this time.