Rescue prompts changes to Bad Branch Falls trail

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email

LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - After around 40 hikers were rescued on Pine Mountain earlier in the month, officials say they might be making some changes and improvements on the trail to Bad Branch Falls.

One sign can mean the difference between being lost and found, and since dozens of out of state college students were rescued off of Pine Mountain, officials are making changes.

“Some of the options to improve the safety of the preserve would be improving the signage especially there at one particular intersection where the sign is a little bit confusing,” said Pine Mountain Conference Director Shad Baker.

Other options include added maps placed at the base of each sign and closing the area during inclement weather.

Officials ultimately want to make the reserve safer, but say they can only do so much.

They say it’s up to hikers to obey signs along the trail.

“The fact of the matter is if people are going to disregard the signs, we can only do so much. And ultimately people are responsible for their own safety,” said Baker.

Officials say with the hundreds of people that hike the trail, they rarely have to make rescues.

However, that all depends on how prepared they are.

“It's a nature's trail, and that's what people want. They want it to be a nature trail. There will be signs in the appropriate areas, but as far as the gravel pathway that you walk on, you won't find it there,” said Letcher County Emergency Management Director, Paul Miles.

Yet, with the additions they will find a clearly marked path for anyone to travel.

Officials will soon be hiking the trail with Bad Branch Nature Preserve officials in order to give other suggestions and improvements.

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