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A 45-year-old Appalachian Trail thru-hiker died last week on the New Hampshire border in an apparent drowning
Joe “Kanga” Harvey, of Prentiss, Mississippi, was last spotted heading towards the Connecticut River on Wednesday at about 7:30 p.m. from Vermont’s Happy Hill Shelter. Norwich, Vermont Police reported that they received a call on Thursday morning, alerting them that a man had gone missing. Authorities eventually dispatched of a diving team, who located Harvey’s body on Friday and pronounced him dead on the scene.
Harvey was active on social media, frequently sharing his experience on TikTok. He had been thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail while scattering his father’s ashes at iconic locations along the trail. His last post was on Wednesday.
@joeyharve Have a great day! Enjoy 😉 #love #nature #backpacking #tentlife #camping #outdoors #heyyall #checkitout #fyp #fypシ #foryou #adventure #appalachiantrail #appalachiantrail #mountains #mountain #atnobo2022 #hikertrash #summit #people #foryourpage #getoutside #outdoorsventures ♬ original sound – Joey Harvey
Death on the Appalachian Trail is a rare occurrence, and death by drowning is even less common. Some estimates suggest that 2 to 3 million people step foot on the Appalachian Trail every year. But just 2 to 3 people die along the 2200-mile trail annually, with most of those deaths related to health conditions or falls.
But drownings do happen on occasion. In 2015, a hiker took a dip in the West Carry Pond, just a few miles from Katahdin when he disappeared below the surface and never came back up. And in 2012, a Louisiana man and his son died in an apparent drowning at the Laurel Fork Falls in Tennessee.
While the cause of Harvey’s death is still under investigation, authorities do not suspect foul play at this time.