Exhausted hiker means long trek for search and rescue teams

POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A pair of lost hikers made for a long hike of their own for three search and rescue teams on the longest trail in the Red River Gorge area Wednesday night.

The Wolfe County Search and Rescue responded to a help request from the Powell County Search and Rescue at about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Resort Park.
A pair of hikers — a man and a woman — had become lost when they made a wrong turn onto Sand Gap Trail, missing the turn for Balanced Rock Trail, according to Wolfe County.

The man was suffering from extreme fatigue and exhaustion after wandering for several miles. Park Ranger Wilson made initial contact with the man and determined a carry out would be necessary, according to WCSAR.

Wolfe County and Powell County teamed up with Estill County SAR to conduct an approximate two-mile evacuation of the subject through rough terrain along the extremely narrow Sand Gap Trail, reaching the trailhead by about 3 a.m. Thursday.

According to the Powell County Search and Rescue, Sand Gap Trail is the longest trail in Natural Bridge State Resort Park with a length of approximately 7.5 miles. This trail is rated as Strenuous by NBSP and signage warns hikers to allow five hours to complete.

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