On October 21st, 2017 officers with the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police and volunteers from Sault Search and Rescue responded to the hiking trails near Hiawatha Highlands regarding multiple lost hikers.
Just after 6:00 p.m. officers received calls from multiple groups of hikers that had become lost while navigating the trials. After an exhaustive 8 hour search, 3 groups of hikers totaling 7 people were located and safely returned home.
Using hiking trails can be a fun and exciting experience. People are reminded that as winter approaches daylight hours are getting shorter. If you do plan to use a hiking trail please consider some safety tips including;
It may become dark sooner than you expect,
Weather at this time of year can change very quickly so dress appropriately,
Cellular phone reception may be very limited on a hiking trail,
Have a map of the area and stay on clearly marked trails,
You may encounter various hazards such as fallen trees or standing water,
Let someone know the area you will be hiking along with your estimated return time,
Ensure you have items like food, water, a lighter, first aid kit and multi-purpose tool
Aside from the significant cost, a search effort such as this requires many resources. The allocation of these resources to such search efforts has a considerable impact on the ability of our Police Service to respond efficiently to emergencies within the city.