Three Hikers Rescued from Appalachian Trail - Backpacker

Three Hikers Rescued from Appalachian Trail

Trapped by flooding
Piscataquis River

A hiker crossing the West Branch of the Piscataquis River on the AT in Maine (not where the hikers were found) (John Hayes/Flickr)

Three hikers were airlifted from a flooded portion of the Appalachian Trail in Maine Thursday morning.

The hikers—27-year-old Amy McConaughy, 25-year-old Kelly Wood and 26-year-old Gabriel Grace—became stranded after part of the trail near Blanchard flooded.

McConaughy and Wood were through-hikers from Georgia who met and became friends on the trail, beginning their hikes on April 1 and April 3, respectively.

Grace began his hike March 9 in Georgia, and was not traveling with the two women.

McConaughy and Wood had been reported missing Wednesday by Wood’s father, who had dropped them off Monday in Caratunk. When they didn’t arrive at their planned destination Wednesday, he called the Maine Warden Service.

A hiker who had seen the two women on the trail told officials that the water in the river had been over his waist and fast-flowing when he crossed, leading officials to believe the two women had become stranded trying to cross the river.

The two were located by game wardens and Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue around 9 a.m. near the trail’s intersection with the East Branch of the Piscataquis River.

Rescuers also found and rescued Grace during their search of this area. A Maine Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter airlifted the hikers to a nearby field.

In a press release, The Maine Warden Service warned all hikers that the rivers are dangerously high right now. “People hiking the AT, or any of Maine's woods and trails, should bring with them good communication devices to aid in unforeseen mishaps such as this,” the press release said.