ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — A rescue crew mobilized Wednesday afternoon to help a 62-year-old woman who fractured her leg while hiking Beehive Mountain.
The woman, whom park officials did not identify, was hiking with her husband and was about three-quarters of the way to the top when she slipped while climbing up some metal rungs along the trail, Ranger Richard Rechholtz said Wednesday evening. He said the couple is from out of state but he was not sure where they lived.
“She’s damn lucky she landed back on the trail,” he said. Portions of the trail on the south face of the Beehive are quite steep, hence the occasional rungs in the rock face. Rechholtz said there have been fatalities on the trail where people have fallen off the edge.
Rangers were notified of the accident around 1:30 p.m. and responded with members of Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue, he said. Rangers also contacted the Maine Forest Service, which sent a helicopter to assist.
Rangers closed the trail and decided to secure the woman in a litter and to hoist her to the top, about 100 to 150 feet above where she slipped and broke her leg, Rechholtz said. They considered lifting her to the forest service helicopter at the top but decided it was too risky and so carried her around the more gently sloping back trail, he said. The woman was in stable condition, aside from the fractured leg, so the 45-minute carryout did not aggravate her condition, he said.
In all, 17 rangers and volunteers with Mount Desert Island Search and Rescue assisted with the rescue, he said. By the time they got back to the Park Loop Road and loaded her in an ambulance to take her to MDI Hospital in Bar Harbor, it was about 5:30 p.m.
Beehive rises a modest 520 feet above sea level near Sand Beach, but its trail is regarded as one of the more strenuous hikes in the park.
“It’s a very popular trail,” Rechholtz said. “People go up and down all day long.”
BDN writer Bill Trotter contributed to this report.