I've always thought the cabin on top of Thomas Mountain in Bolton would be a fun place to spend a night. The mountain is atop a heavily hiked trail system overseen by Lake George Land Conservancy and there are often more people there than I want to see when hiking, but it seems like it would be a great place to watch the sun rise.
A couple of hikers spent part of Saturday night in that cool, one-room cabin. But they hadn't planned to.
State forest rangers were called to the mountain late Saturday afternoon because a couple of hikers from the New York City area got lost on the mountain as dusk arrived. They didn't have flashlights, but were able to find the cabin and call for help.
They were escorted off the mountain later Saturday night.
It's really mind-boggling to me that anyone heads into the woods this time of the year without a flashlight or light source. Darkness arrives much earlier in the woods than it does in your front yard. (Unless, of course, your front yard is in the woods.)
For all intents and purposes, it is winter here in the Adirondacks. I left my house to hike to Black Mountain and the ponds around it on Saturday morning, and it was 45 degrees at my house. I arrived at the trailhead and found ice and temperatures in the mid-30s, and the higher up I got there was more snow and ice and it was very windy. Extra layers and a light source are non-negotiable at this time of year.
Below is the weekly DEC forest ranger report, which includes the Thomas Mountain rescue and some other local calls.
-- Don Lehman
Town of Salem
Wildfire: Three Forest Rangers helped county volunteer firefighters extinguish a wildfire that burned through three acres of woodlands. The fire was caused by a resident dumping woodstove ashes outside without first making sure there were no burning coals. The homeowner was issued a ticket for leaving burning materials outside in a manner that can cause a wildfire.
Town of Bolton
Wildland Rescue: At 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 25, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from two New York City hikers lost on Thomas Mountain. The hikers could not find the trail but eventually made their way to a cabin near the summit. Unprepared to navigate at night, the pair remained at the cabin while Forest Ranger Art Perryman hiked to their location, provided necessary flashlights, and escorted the hikers back to their vehicle. By 7 p.m., all were back at the parking lot and the incident was concluded.
Town of Mayfield
Wildland Search: At 6:28 p.m. on Nov. 25, Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) Shane Manns was alerted to a hunter lost on Tolmantown Road. The 16-year-old male hunter became separated from his hunting party and was disoriented. Manns, Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputies, and Forest Rangers Dave Kallen and Andrew Lewis searched the area. At 9:26 p.m., the hunter was found and escorted out of the woods without further need of assistance.
Town of Indian Lake
Wildland Search: At 4:15 p.m. on Nov. 25, DEC Ray Brook Dispatch was notified of a 70-year-old man hunting in the Jessup River Wild Forest who had not returned to his hunting party. Four Forest Rangers began their search, which included a boat patrol along the shore of Indian Lake while Sheriff’s Deputies patrolled the state highway. At 11:08 p.m., the hunter was found in good health and escorted back to his vehicle.