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Missing hiker found at Poestenkill Gorge

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Updated: 8/25 10:54 pm

TROY, N.Y. – A missing 46-year-old hiker was found in Poestenkill Gorge Park, officials confirmed.

Firefighters were called to the area near the Cookie Factory at around noon Monday after receiving a 911 call from a local garage where the hiker's girlfriend drove to for help.

She told police she and her boyfriend had been hiking the gorge Monday morning. She told police the man slipped on rocks and disappeared into the water.

Fire Chief Tom Garrett said it appears as though the couple entered the gorge through an area marked with no-trespassing signs. 

Firefighters and divers had to rappel 150 ft. down shale cliffs to reach the pools below. The hiker's body was located under a rock ledge along the water. 

Chief Garrett said it is unclear exactly how the man died. He added that officials receive similar calls about once every year, and it underscores how dangerous the cliffs can be.

“People don’t understand how dangerous it really is,” he said.

Fencing and signs are posted around the gorge to keep people from going close to the cliffs.

“That’s posted over there. That’s trespassing if you go in there,” Garrett said.

But hours after the man died, more people were seen swimming in the exact same spot.

“You can’t fence this in,” Garrett said. “It’s too big of an attraction for people.”

Garrett doesn’t think people will stay out of the area despite the signs and local laws; therefore, safety falls on those who venture in to the gorge.

“Just be careful,” he said. “You start climbing those walls; it’s all shale, it gives away very easy. Next thing you know, you fall.”

Police have not released the man’s name. A pending autopsy report will determine how the man died.

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