One of the fun things to do in summer is to go on a hike. From the Southern Tier of New York to Northeastern Pennsylvania to countless greater places to hike across America, you'll never have to worry about finding a trail to hike on.

The nice thing about hiking trails across the United States is that you will find them in all sorts of lengths and levels of difficulty. My wife and I have enjoyed many hikes in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia where the Blue Ridge Parkway passes through.

The I Love New York website lists plenty of great places to hike in the Empire State. And for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Visit Pa website has some great suggestions.

Unfortunately from time to time, issues can arise from hiking trips as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation can attest to. NYS DEC Forest Rangers continually respond to search and rescue incidents statewide.

That includes locating and extracting lost, injured, or distressed people from across New York State. As a matter of fact over the past week, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website, Forest Rangers performed several rescues.

One such rescue included reuniting a lost 12-year-old with her family in the Adirondacks on July 1st, when she became separated from her family near Adirondak Loi. The girl was found by Forest Ranger Lieutenant LaPierre and Ranger Evans in good condition

NYS Dec Forest Rangers also responded to and rescued an injured hiker who fell on Artists Rock trail, and used a wheeled litter to rescue an injured hiker on Buck Mountain over the past week.

In 2022, NYS DEC Forest Rangers:

  • Conducted 359 search and rescue missions
  • Extinguished 162 wildfires covering more than 1,300 acres'
  • Participated in 53 prescribed fires that served to rejuvenate nearly 900 acres of land
  • Worked on cases that resulted in hundreds of tickets and arrests.

With more people visiting State lands and enjoying New York's myriad, world-class outdoor recreational opportunities, DEC's Forest Rangers are on the front lines to help visitors get outside responsibly and get home safely. Each day, these highly trained first responders are protecting irreplaceable natural resources and utilizing their expert knowledge of wildland fire suppression, wilderness first aid, land navigation, law enforcement, and technical rescue techniques to successfully execute critical missions, for DEC and our countless local, state, and national partners. - NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos

So, as fun as hiking can be, it's best to be prepared before going on that hike. The website, Amanda Outside has six steps to complete before heading out on your hiking experience.

They include making sure all your gear is working properly, letting someone know where you are going and the approximate time you will be returning, being aware of the landscape you will be hiking on, being aware of the upcoming weather conditions, hydrating and fueling your body and mentally prepare for the length, duration, and elevation gain. Visit the Amanda Outside website for more details.

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