CO Jonathan Demler
June 30, 2023
Franconia, NH – At approximately 12:20 p.m. on June 29, 2023, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department responded to an injured hiker located around 4 miles up the Gale River Trail in Franconia, NH. An 18-year-old from Gainesville, FL, was hiking with a family member on June 28 when he suffered a lower-leg injury. The pair was assisted by crew from the Appalachian Mountain Club to the Galehead Hut where they spent the evening hoping to be able to descend the following day.
On June 29, even with assistance from an Appalachian Mountain Club crew member, the pair only traveled 0.4 miles in several hours and a decision was made to begin a 20-person carry-out rescue effort with volunteers from the Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team and Conservation Officers from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
Rescuers reached the injured youth at 2:45 p.m., 3.7 miles from the Gale River Trailhead. They loaded him into a rescue litter and carried him 2 miles down the Gale River Trail, where an all-terrain vehicle was able to transport the injured hiker the remaining 1.7 miles to the trailhead. The rescue concluded without further incident at approximately 6:00 p.m. The hikers were prepared for a multi-day hike.
Conservation Officers would like to remind everyone planning to spend time outdoors this summer to recreate safely. Trail conditions are very wet due to the long periods of rain New Hampshire has been receiving. Hiking safe is your responsibility. Please visit www.hikesafe.com for more information.