A hiking trail along New Brunswick’s Fundy coast is closed indefinitely after a helicopter that was deployed to rescue a hiker Sunday blew down several trees, damaging a section of the trail.
Sussex Fire Chief Bill Wanamaker said his department received a call at about 5 p.m. that a hiker broke her ankle in Walton Glen Gorge, which is about halfway between St. Martins and Alma.
When crews arrived, they found the 20-year-old hiker on a steep section of the Eye of the Needle trail, unable to walk, Wanamaker said.
“It was determined pretty quick that the hiker was unable to walk up. Due to the terrain, it was pretty near impossible to like, to carry them up,” he said.
Wanamaker said crews decided to request an air rescue from the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, and later that evening, a Cormorant helicopter lifted the hiker off the trail and dropped her off at the trail’s parking lot, where she was seen by paramedics.
A Cormorant helicopter was dispatched to air lift a hiker off of the Walton Glen Gorge trail. The downward draft from the helicopter’s rotors damaged several trees, requiring the trail to be closed. (Canadian Armed Forces)
While the rescue was successful, the downward draft created by the helicopter’s rotors uprooted and toppled several trees along the trail, said James Donald, president of the board for the Fundy Trail Development Authority.
“We don’t have a timeline yet [for reopening the trail],” Donald said.
“I mean, it’s about resources near the end of the season and getting the resources to assess it and repair it. So hopefully we can get it open before the end of the season again,” said Donald, adding the trail officially closes after the Thanksgiving weekend.
This wasn’t the first time this summer a hiker had to be rescued from the trail.
Just two weeks prior, a man had to be air lifted off the Eye of the Needle after breaking his leg around the same section, Wanamaker said.
“I think it’s just steep,” Wanamaker said about the trail. “And you know, if it’s wet it could be, you know, slippery that way and then you’re on rocks that are slippery as …….