Indiana Conservation Officers responded to a call of an overdue hiker in the Hoosier National Forest late Monday night. Tuesday a 19 year-old male was located along the Springs Valley trail, outside of French Lick, after nearly 12 hours of searching.
The hiker’s father became concerned after his son left for a hike on Saturday, and failed to return on Monday. Indiana Conservation Officers, Hoosier National Forest personnel, and members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department initiated a search just after 10:00 p.m. Monday night.
Officers searched with K-9 units and ATVs late into the night with no success. After resuming the search at daylight on Tuesday with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), an Indiana Conservation Officer located the hiker, who was clad in a tank top and shorts, along the trail. Though exhausted, the man was otherwise in good condition, and had a tearful reunion with his father.
Indiana Conservation Officers strongly encourage all hikers to be prepared when taking to the woods. In addition to a cell phone, necessary items should include a current map of the trails, compass, first aid kit, flashlight, and extra food and water.