Lt. James Kneeland
July 28, 2023
Livermore, NH – On Wednesday, July 26, at 12:10 p.m., NH Fish and Game was notified of a hiker in need of assistance. A caller to NH 911 reported that a hiker was stranded on a ledge and could not continue up or down safely. A passing hiker had heard the stranded hiker’s cries for help as she was coming down the Osceola Trail from the summit of East Osceola. The passing hiker could not safely reach the area of the stranded hiker to assist. A short time later the stranded hiker called 911 and reported that she had inadvertently left the Osceola Trail and when she encountered the exposed bare rock she thought it was the trail and continued up. As the terrain got steeper she realized she could not continue. She was able to find a spot to safely wait the arrival of a rescue team.
Three Conservation Officers hiked two miles from the trailhead with ropes and harnesses. They arrived in the area of the stranded hiker at 3:00 p.m. and were quickly able to find a route to the hiker where they could assist her off the slope with the use of a rope and a climbing harness. By 3:45 p.m., the rescue group was making their way back to the trailhead where they later arrived at 4:50 p.m.
The stranded hiker was identified as 49-year-old Misty Hughes of Houston, TX. Hughes had planned to hike from the Kancamagus Highway to Tripoli Road via the Osceola Trail. She had been navigating with the use of All Trails when she was led off trail and onto the steep and slippery ledge. Hughes suffered no injuries and was reunited with family at the trailhead.
Steady rain has fallen over the month of June and through July in New Hampshire. The rainy weather has caused slippery trail conditions which have led to many of the injuries seen by Conservation Officers recently. Appropriate footwear should be worn while hiking and hiking boots that provide support, protection, and traction are recommended. For safe hiking tips and a list of essential gear, visit hikesafe.com. 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.