Shack provides shelter overnightA hiker lost off the Gooseberry River in Lake County Tuesday night was found Wednesday morning after more than 12 hours of searching using several agencies in the region.
By: News-Chronicle, Lake County News Chronicle
A hiker lost off the Gooseberry River in Lake County Tuesday night was found Wednesday morning after more than 12 hours of searching using several agencies in the region. The hiker had found a shack to stay in overnight and was found leaving it about 9:30 a.m.
Lake County search teams were deployed off the hiking trail through the night since getting a call about 9 p.m., Sheriff Carey Johnson said. He said two men from Duluth had been looking for agates along the Gooseberry River in the area near the Superior Hiking Trail when they got split up.
Johnson said Joseph Noah, wearing wet tennis shoes, followed a general safety guideline for North Shore hiking: He followed the river current, which eventually will take a person to Highway 61. Unfortunately, Johnson said, the 29-year-old came upon what he thought was the trail he knew only to find it was a different recreational vehicle trail that took him farther west and away from the river.
The hiker grew worried and cold but found a hunting shack for shelter, Johnson said. He built a fire and spent the night.
The search area was from County Road 3 to the Gooseberry off the Superior Hiking Trail and around West Castle Danger Road.
Johnson said a dog from the Duluth Police Department was used Tuesday night as well as search teams from Carlton and Cook counties. Mounted patrol officers from Carlton County were on their way Wednesday when the hiker was found.
There were several attempts to get a helicopter over the area, from the Coast Guard or Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, but snowy weather conditions Tuesday and Wednesday kept pilots on the ground. A plane from the DNR flying in the area was eventually used to search the area.
“His feet were a little sore from walking in wet shoes,” Johnson said of the hiker’s condition.
Rivers in the area have calmed a bit from spring runoff, easing fears of the hiker getting caught up in a current. Johnson said the upper portion of Gooseberry was slow enough to cross over on foot. Most river ice dams broke in the last 10 days along the North Shore.