Nashua hiker rescued in Purgatory Falls

MONT VERNON – A Nashua man who was injured while hiking spent Saturday night in the Purgatory Falls recreation area before being rescued Sunday morning.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Sgt. Delayne Brown said 30-year-old Sandeep Mishra was hiking near what is called the Lower Falls around 8 p.m. Saturday when he fell and hurt himself.

Brown said Mishra’s injury was enough to immobilize him. He did not have a cellphone, hiking gear or extra supplies, and was unable to move.

Around 10 a.m. Sunday, another hiker, identified by the Conway Daily Sun as Gary Noel, of Dracut, Mass., happened upon the injured Mishra.

Noel contacted authorities, who dispatched crews from Amherst, Mont Vernon, Milford and the regional Fish and Game office to rescue Mishra.

Brown said Amherst Ambulance Service transported him to a local hospital, and that “he seemed OK” when he was put into the ambulance.

It was apparently Mishra’s intention to take a short hike, Brown said.

“I think he intended to be back in the truck before dark. He was pretty cold, and in a lot of pain … fortunately Mother Nature was on his side,” Brown said, noting that temperatures that night were fairly mild for late October.

Fish and Game officers have had their hands full doing rescues this autumn, Brown said, although it’s not unusual for the number of stranded hikers to go up during fall foliage season.

A hiking website says the Purgatory Falls Trail is a 4.8 mile, lightly trafficked “out-and-back” trail near Lyndeborough that is “good for all skill levels” and features a waterfall.

Comments on Tripadvisor, however, warn of “slippery rocks over uneven terrain,” and say it shouldn’t be labeled “easy.”

Regardless of what trail hikers choose, however, Fish and Game officials urge all hikers to “prepare for the unexpected,” and to be sure to pack supplies including food, water, first-aid gear, flashlights, extra batteries – and extra layers of clothing.

Additional hiking advice and tips can be found at wildnh.com and hikesafe.com.