ALPINE - The Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department rescued nearly two dozen hikers Tuesday night from the State Line Lookout in Alpine.
Officials say that the group was part of the Romimu Special Programs summer camp for mentally and physically challenged children, based out of Monticello, New York. They were in an area known as the Giant Stairs. Officials say that it is a popular hike, but considered one of the most difficult ones in the area.
Parkway police began the rescue around 9 p.m. They say six adults and 15 children were lost and that the rescue was particularly difficult because the group was separated into smaller groups all along the trail. Hikers familiar with the trail say that it is a little over 4 miles long and is rough and rugged with boulders.
A volunteer who helps to maintain the trail tells News 12 New Jersey that as long as hikers stay on the path and follow the white markers, they will be OK.
“The trail is roughly halfway between the cliffs and the river. So if you decide you want to go off and explore on your own, yeah you can easily get lost, especially this time of the year with the trees,” says volunteer Karl Soehlein.
A spokesperson for the Parkway police says that officers were able to find the lost hikers scattered over a two-mile area. Police say all hikers were accounted for by 3 a.m. No one was hurt.