Acadia hiker hurt after tumbling down slope

Posted June 08, 2012, at 6:28 p.m.

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — A Massachusetts man was injured Friday when he fell off a scenic overlook and down a steep embankment on Acadia Mountain, according to a park ranger.

The 19-year-old man was hiking with friends a few minutes after noon when they stopped at an overlook facing west over Route 102, Ranger Ed Pontbriand said Friday. The man, whom Pontbriand did not identify, slipped and tumbled about 75 feet down the steep slope before he was able to come to a stop.

The man’s friends called 911 and, after the call was redirected by Maine State Police to Acadia rangers, responders were able to find the group fairly quickly. Responders, including medical technicians from Mount Desert, secured the man in a litter and had to carry him back up the slope, along the trail and then down another steep part of trail before getting him into an ambulance on Route 102, Pontbriand said.

“He kind of banged himself all up,” the ranger said, adding that he may have had minor head and back injuries from the fall. He said none of the injuries appeared to be serious.

“We wanted to make sure it didn’t get any worse,” Pontbriand said.

It took about 3½ hours to get to the injured man and then to carry him safely back out to the road, he said. The man was taken to Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, where he still was being evaluated late Friday afternoon.

Pontbriand said that now that Memorial Day has passed, the number of visitors and accidents in the park is starting to pick up. On Wednesday afternoon, a local man was found dead in the park near Schooner Head Road but the death is not believed to be suspicious.

Later that same night, rangers had to go help a small group of hikers who got lost on Acadia Mountain after the sun went down, Pontbriand said. The hikers, who were on Valley Peak Trail, did not have flashlights and called 911 after it got dark and they lost track of the trail, he said.

Using the GPS signal from the hikers’ cellphone, rangers pinpointed their location and hiked up to meet them with headlamps, he said. By the time they all got safely back to the road, it was 10 p.m.

And around noon Thursday, a hiker was dive-bombed by a goshawk near Parkman Mountain, according to the ranger. The hiker, who happens to be a park employee, was on a carriage path between Parkman Mountain and Aunt Betty Pond when the incident occurred.

The hiker, whom Pontbriand did not identify, suffered scratches to his neck and scalp during the aerial attack. Park officials assume the bird was defending a nest site but resource management staffers who went to try to find the bird or nest could not find it, Pontbriand said.

If an occupied nest is found, he said, the park may close off a perimeter area around the nest to make sure it is not disturbed any further.

“If we have to close a trail, we will,” he said.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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