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Stranded hikers return to safety

Two hikers trapped by darkness on an off-road biking trail in Sprague Brook Park were talked out to safety at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, with the help of a neighbor and local volunteer firefighters.

The hikers, who were checked out by the East Concord Fire Department after walking out of the wooded area in southern Erie County, suffered no serious injuries, authorities said.

The two people, both in their 30s, went hiking in early evening, but they called the park office at about 9:30 p.m., saying they were trapped in the woods by darkness, Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Ronald Kenyon said. They were, however, able to provide their location via a mile marker in the park.

As volunteer firefighters on ATVs began to approach the hikers from the west, a citizen on nearby Pratham Road who knew the area used an ATV to get within yelling distance of the pair.

"As luck would have it, he got to a point where he could yell at the hikers across the ravine," Kenyon said.

That neighbor eventually was able to guide them across a bridge and onto Pratham Road, while Air One, the Erie County sheriff's helicopter piloted by Capt. Kevin Caffery, hovered overhead.

Authorities said the two hikers did just what they should have done after they were trapped, including providing their location and then staying put.

"At no point in time did we believe they were in danger," Kenyon said. "We knew where they were. We just had to get to them."