ERWIN — A hiker stranded overnight along a Unicoi County portion of the Appalachian Trail in freezing conditions was rescued Wednesday by county officials.
Lt. Jimmy Erwin with the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department said J. Ardenia Gaines, 59, of Virginia Beach, Va., a trail through-hiker, was rescued after being located by officials Wednesday. Erwin said Gaines was hiking north in Unaka Mountain on Tuesday evening and was attempting to make it to the Cherry Gap shelter for hikers. As rain picked up and temperatures dropped Tuesday evening, Erwin said Gaines, who was hiking alone, decided to stop along the trail.
“It just got dark on her and she couldn’t make it,” Erwin said.
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