SALINE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Two groups of lost hikers were found at the Garden of the Gods on Sunday in Saline County.
The Saline County Central Dispatch receive the first call about lost hikers at 3:12 p.m.
The hikers from Dawson Springs, Kentucky had gotten off the trail, but were found by some other hikers and first responders who got them back to the main parking lot at the Garden of the Gods. No one was injured.
The dispatch received another call about lost hikers at 7:21 p.m. on Sunday. The hikers from Hazel, Ky. had gotten off the main trail. Responders found the hikers at 10 p.m. and were brought out of the forest at 11:47 p.m. No one was injured in that incident.
An Indiana man was found after being reported lost in the Garden of the Gods on Saturday.
Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown recommends that hikers should carry a GPS unit while hiking. Take water and make sure the battery on your cell phone is charged before hiking.
Sheriff Brown also recommends letting someone know which trail or direction you are headed, wear appropriate clothing and shoes, let someone know the estimated time you will returning, and stay on the main trails.
The cell signal is poor in the Garden of the Gods area. So relying on your cell phone in an emergency may not be the best option. Sheriff Brown says the 911 call may bounce to Saline County, Johnson County or even to a Kentucky location, so be prepared to explain where you started your hike.