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July 09. 2014 9:57AM

Lost Massachusetts hikers found safe in NH

NEW IPSWICH — Four Massachusetts women, who started their hike from the Mt. Watatic Trailhead in Ashburnham, Mass., Tuesday, made a wrong turn after reaching the summit and ended up lost in New Hampshire on the Wapack Trail.

When they realized their mistake, they called 911 at about 11 p.m. and New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officer William Boudreau and members of the New Ipswich Fire Department located the lost hikers shortly before midnight in the Binney Pond Natural Area.

Laura Ann Stern, 24, Erin Stern, 19, Alexis Gibbons, 18, and Whitney Mansfield, 18, were assisted out to the Binney Pond Road and transported to the New Ipswich Fire Department, where a family member was waiting.

Fish and Game Lt. David Walsh said anyone who wants to enjoy the state's recreational opportunities should do so responsibly, which includes carrying essential equipment, including a trail map and compass.

A cell phone is not a substitute for proper equipment, because cell phone coverage can be spotty or non-existent in some areas and situations. For more information, go to

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