CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — Authorities narrowed the search area Monday for a Tennessee hiker who disappeared from the Appalachian Trail, focusing on a rugged 14-mile section of the trail in the Carrabassett Valley region of western Maine.
Maine wardens believe the area of highest probability of finding Geraldine Largay, 66, of Brentwood, Tenn., is even smaller — a nine-mile section of the trail between Lone Mountain and a dirt road west of Sugarloaf Mountain.
The terrain with thick brush, side paths and steep drops is challenging for searchers, said Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service.
"There are some treacherous, hazardous rock slides and substantial ones with several hundred feet of elevation change in a short stretch," he said. "We're trying to include all of those possibilities. Maybe she went over a slide and injured herself, or maybe she is OK and is up and walking on a trail."
Worries have grown with the passage of time.
Largay contacted her husband July 21 from the top of Saddleback Mountain but failed to meet up with him the following day as planned, MacDonald said. There was one report, unconfirmed, that she'd spent Monday night in a lean-to.
More than 100 searchers looked for Largay on Saturday, and dozens of people continued searching Sunday. Monday's search crews include game wardens, Mahoosuc Search and Rescue, U.S. Border Patrol and the Maine Forest Service.
There's also a steady stream of hikers who're being alerted to keep their eyes out for Largay as they continue their treks on the Appalachian Trail.
Largay started her hike in April at Harpers Ferry, W.Va., with a destination of Mount Katahdin in Maine, the trail's northern terminus.