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Family rescued on mountain in Maine says hiking trail sign pointed them in wrong direction

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    FREEHOLD, New Jersey (WCBS) — A New Jersey family was rescued after going for a hike on a mountain in Maine.

CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke with a family member who detailed what went wrong.

Connor Latona, 18, captured video after hiking for two-and-a-half hours up the 3,000 foot peak of Tumbledown Mountain with his parents and two older sisters.

The family traveled from Freehold to visit him at college. They expected the hike to take about two hours and to be “back for a late lunch,” Latona said.

He said the weather was perfect, in the 50s, all day. Then, the family ran into some snow and ice as they searched for the trail back down.

“We didn’t have the proper jackets. We thought we were going to be down before the sundown,” he said.

They followed trail markers, but Latona said the signs were wrong.

“We knew that down the mountain was to the right. But we were like, we trust the signage, so, we’re gonna go left,” he said.

Turns out, their instincts were right. The marker led them in the wrong direction as the sun was going down. So they called 911.

“My sister’s feet were going numb and stuff and everyone, everyone was cold. But we just huddled together next to a tree to block the wind and just tried to keep our body warm,” Latona said.

It took hours for a rescue team to reach them.

“Bringing us extra clothes, giving us food, starting a fire for us,” he said. “I just want to make sure that they know that we appreciated everything they did.”

“We see it often this time of year. Where people come to mountains, they feel good, it’s spring time, and the find when they get there that there’s more snow than they thought there would be,” said Maine District Game Warden Kyle Hladick.

“If you’re wearing cotton or other fabrics like that that don’t provide a lot of insulating value, it can go from nice and warm to very cold pretty quickly,” said Maine District Game Warden Harry Wiegman.

Latona wanted to tell his story as a warning to others to do their research before hiking, and to always bring extra gear and food.

He said his dad reported the incorrect trail sign to the parks department.

CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: National-World

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