NH Fish And Game rescues four hikers overnight in Franconia Notch

Conservation Officials: The group from Boston, Massachusetts, was unprepared to hike one of the most dangerous trails in New Hampshire.

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LINCOLN, NH – New Hampshire fish and wildlife rescue hikers were allegedly unprepared for hiking in the White Mountains.

The New Hampshire Fish & Game Department was notified about a group of hikers on the Flume Slide Trail calling for help around 9 p.m. Saturday. The group was about three miles from the Liberty Springs Trailhead on the Franconia Notch State Park Bike Path. They descended the Flume Slide trail but were unable to continue because they had no light or equipment to spend the night on the mountain.

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Due to the danger posed by the cold temperatures and the group's unpreparedness, a rescue was initiated. Fish and Game conservation officers reached 26-year-old Jonathan Long, who was leading a group of three teenagers ages 13 to 14, all from the Boston, Massachusetts, area, around 11:35 p.m.

The hikers were given light and food so they could carefully walk down the trail. Conservation officers assisted hikers along the way and reached the bike path at 1:50 a.m. Sunday without further incident. The group was then transported to their vehicle in the Liberty Springs parking lot.

The group had hiked that day up the Liberty Springs Trail to Mount Liberty and Mount Flume. According to conservation officials, the dangerous decision to descend Flume Slide Trail and return to Liberty Springs Trail was made because the group was unfamiliar with the trails. The Flume Slide Trail is considered one of the most challenging hiking trails in the White Mountains and all sources strongly recommend not using it to descend Mount Flume.

Hikers in New Hampshire are asked by Fish and Game to not only ensure they are equipped with the proper equipment, supplies and clothing, but also to provide information about the trails, safe “rescue” or emergency plans and current weather information. Many higher elevation trails still have snow and ice, creating dangerous conditions even on pleasant spring days.

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Anna Harden

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