Whether it is an injured hiker or a stuck vehicle that was four-wheeling, the NYS DEC sure knows how to step in for the save.

While the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation might make it look easy, many times the actual rescue is far from a simple task. All throughout the state of New York people will head into the woods for what seemed like a relaxing day enjoying the best of outdoor life when something goes terribly wrong. When that happens, many times the DEC is called and gets out to help.

For instance, in Schenectady County, a group of trucks ventured into the woods to go off-roading. While their vehicles had all the capability to accomplish this task, fluctuating weather bringing warm and rainy days turned trails into mud. On January 2nd, Troopers and Rangers ventured into the Featherstonhaugh State Forest with assistance from a skid steer and a winch, among other things, got the drivers unstuck from the mud.

With another save, which was more of a rescue, on December 27th Forest Rangers received a call after an ice climber had a very scary fall. The man had fallen roughly 50 feet and thankfully was wearing protective gear. He didn't come out unscathed. Happening in the area of Lake Placid, the 49-year-old man was stuck midway up the mountain with two broken legs. Thankfully the climbing rescue team was able to help him.

As you see, neither of those situations called for an easy rescue. So take tips from the DEC, anytime you plan to head into the wilderness, be as prepared as possible. You can never predict when you may strike bad luck or have a catastrophic incident.

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To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.

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Many of the included towns jump out at the casual observer as popular summer-rental spots--the Ozarks' Branson, Missouri, or Arizona's Lake Havasu--it might surprise you to dive deeper into some quality-of-life offerings beyond the beach and vacation homes. You'll likely pick up some knowledge from a wide range of Americana: one of the last remaining 1950s-style drive-ins in the Midwest; a Florida town that started as a Civil War veteran retirement area; an island boasting some of the country's top public schools and wealth-earners right in the middle of a lake between Seattle and Bellevue; and even a California town containing much more than Johnny Cash's prison blues.

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