Lost hikers reunited at park

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

By Samantha Jones

Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com

The Eureka Springs Fire Department joined forces with the police and parks department to reunite lost hikers with their family on Aug. 20.

Firefighter Matt Carter said a call came in Tuesday afternoon saying a family had been separated on the Lake Leatherwood City Park trail system. The police department was already on the scene, Carter said, and needed some assistance.

“We drove down there. We were able to use one of the boats from the parks department to navigate across Lake Leatherwood,” Carter said, “where we met them on the trail, loaded them up, brought them back to the marina and rejoined them with their family.”

Carter described what led to the incident, saying one of the hikers thought she was lost and didn’t want to continue into the woods and get more lost.

“That’s definitely the safe thing to do,” Carter said. “She waited and maintained visual contact with a family member.”

The trails are beautiful to hike this time of year, but the conditions can sometimes make hiking dangerous. Carter advised hikers to pack plenty of water and snacks before heading out on the trails.

“You never know –– what you anticipate to be a two-hour hike could turn into more than that,” Carter said.

In this specific incident, Carter said, a storm rolled in unexpectedly.

“So it’s a good idea to check the weather,” Carter said. “Stay on top of that. Stay hydrated. Knowing the trail is a good thing.”

Carter said he and his crew were happy to help reunite the family.

“It’s a joyous thing to do,” Carter said. “It’s the greatest job in the world.”

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