The team expects that, as the leaves change, they will continue to have more rescues before the end of the year. In a normal year, they respond to around 50 rescues.
Over the past ten years, Red River Gorge has seen a steady increase in visitors to the area. Now, with the pandemic, the gorge gives people a COVID safe place to explore, so the rescue numbers have significantly gone up.
It’s important for visitors to know their fitness levels and do some research before hiking the trails. Also, to make sure they have all the proper equipment and supplies if things turn for the worst.
“So, if you get out there and something happens and darkness falls upon you quicker than what you expected, you know you need a flashlight, a way to make a shelter if needed if the weather is bad,” said Chief John May, Wolfe County Search and Rescue. “Make sure your cell phone is charged up and we also recommend you carry an extra battery pack for your mobile device. So, if you do get out there and find yourself in trouble you have a way to charge that phone up if you need to in order to be able to call for assistance.”
The team hopes more people come out to enjoy the gorge this fall, but urge people to keep safety in mind.