Forest rangers find lost hiker

COREYS – State forest rangers have found a Canton man who went missing while hiking on the Northville-Placid Trail.

Larry White, 58, was found on a trail about a mile northeast of Noah John Rondeau’s former hermitage on the Cold River, in the western High Peaks near the Essex-Franklin county line, around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. He had been lost for four days, according to Scott Van Laer, the state Department of Environmental Conservation forest ranger who found White.

White was reported missing at 9 a.m. Thursday after he didn’t reach his destination as scheduled. He started hiking on Aug. 7 in Lake Placid, and according to what DEC was told by his wife, he was supposed to have arrived in Long Lake on Wednesday.

Forest rangers checked trail registers and lean-to log books along the Northville-Placid Trail and other connecting trails to try to determine White’s whereabouts. A state police helicopter was also used in the search.

Van Laer said White spent Saturday night at Duck Hole and stopped Sunday at a lean-to on the Cold River, complaining of knee pain. He wrote that he was heading west to the Ouluska lean-to, so Van Laer said he started hiking in that direction as another ranger, Gary Miller, approached from the south. Miller got to the Ouluska lean-to first and reported that White hadn’t signed in there.

“I started to try and guess where he could have gotten off trail,” Van Laer wrote. “Suddenly there he was in the trail, walking south, very slowly, one mile north of (the) hermitage. He was OK but very tired and dehydrated. He ate four of my (Clif) bars and downed a Gatorade.”

About two hours before White was found, Van Laer said a group of hikers heard him blowing a whistle and walked to him. He was about a quarter-mile from the trail. They walked him back to the trail and got him oriented, Van Laer said.

Once the rangers found White, they took his pack and hiked with him 3 miles north to the intersection of the Ward Brook Truck Trail and the Northville-Placid Trail. From there, White was taken on an all-terrain vehicle to Coreys Road where he met up with his wife at 8:45 p.m. He declined medical attention and said he would go to an urgent care clinic in the morning, Van Laer wrote.

White, who carried a map and compass, told rangers he was doing short hikes of 4 to 5 miles a day. He got lost on the way to the Ouluska lean-to and spent several days off the trail, “mostly sitting, waiting for help,” Van Laer said.

The ranger said there was some confusion from White’s wife about when her husband was planning to be out of the woods.

Outdoors Writer Mike Lynch contributed to this report.