Monday, December 30, 2019 responders were notified of two (2) overdue hikers in the Harper Creek Falls area of the Wilson Creek Community in Northwestern Caldwell County.
In response to a request made by family members, and information obtained through the initial 911 call, Caldwell County Emergency Management, along with search and rescue members from Collettsville and Gamewell Fire Departments, Caldwell County Emergency Services Special Operations group, Avery and Burke County, as well as K-9 assets from the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department and Yadkin Valley Fire Rescue, deployed assets to begin the search at 12:16 p.m.
The hikers had left for a planned hiking and camping trip to the Harper Creek Falls area on Friday and were due back, per family members, by mid-afternoon on Sunday. By Monday morning, the hikers had not arrived at work and family and friends requested response to confirm their safety and whereabouts.
Through a joint operation involving the above mentioned agencies, trail maintenance crews in the area, as well as other hikers, the subjects were located by approximately 2:30 p.m. in good condition and had altered their plans to stay an additional night/day and had not updated friends and family.
Caldwell County Emergency Management would like to remind hikers that planning is an important step in being prepared and ready for your adventure. If you are going to the backcountry, know how to be self-sufficient in case you encounter an unexpected hazard or an emergency occurs. Always complete a trip plan that details where you will be walking or hiking, your contact information, when you plan to arrive and return, and who is coming with you. Leave this information with a trusted friend or family member that is not going on the trip with you. The details in this document can be very helpful to search and rescue teams in the case of an emergency.