Four Appalachian Trail hikers were injured by lightning last Sunday afternoon. The injured hikers were part of a nine-member group hiking on the seven-mile stretch of the AT that passes through Worthington State Forest in northwestern New Jersey. This stretch of the AT, which is situated along the steep and rocky Kittininny Ridge just north of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, is very popular with hikers.
The group was about a mile south of Sunfish Pond when a severe late afternoon thunderstorm swept over them. At about five p.m. a nearby lightning strike injured four of the hikers.
According to National Park Service spokeswoman Deb Nordeen, park rangers and other members of an interagency rescue team based outside the park quickly retrieved the victims, using a Stokes litter to transport a victim with a bleeding head wound and a Gator (utility bed-equipped ATV) for the other three.
All four of the victims, two men and two women, were evacuated by ambulance to the Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.