Search continues for Georgia hiker near Appalachian Trail

Published 8:36 am Thursday, February 20, 2020

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in Georgia have been searching for a hiker who went missing at least four days ago along a feeder route to the Appalachian Trail.

Eddie Noonkester began a “thru-hike” Friday onto the Appalachian Approach Trail in northern Georgia, news outlets reported.

Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services said Monday they were searching for Noonkester who had “since become disoriented and may be suffering from a medical emergency.”

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The agency said Noonkester may have wandered off the trail and toward the surrounding National Forest property. It didn’t elaborate on its information.

On Tuesday, officials were still searching for Noonkester. A Facebook post from the agency said the last known whereabouts of Noonkester was on difficult terrain.

Authorities urged anyone with information or wanting to volunteer with the search effort to contact them.

A “thru-hike” is an end-to-end backpacking trip on a long distance trail like the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Approach Trail is an 8-mile (13-kilometer) approach beginning the 78-mile (125-kilometer) Georgia portion of the Appalachian.