Warden Service Says No Search 

The search for a missing hiker from Pennsylvania last seen on Park Tote Road in Baxter State Park was called off today, after it was discovered that he wasn’t missing.On Monday, a Brewer resident contacted authorities to report that they had found an expensive backpack left on the Appalachian Trail west of Abol Bridge.Park rangers investigated the report and discovered the backpack. Upon further investigation they came to the conclusion that it belonged to a hiker named John Meharg of Reading, Pennsylvania.When investigators contacted Meharg’s family, they discovered that he was at his home in Pennsylvania.While Mr. Meharg initially denied leaving his backpack behind, he later admitted that the backpack was his.According to Meharg, he had planned on starting at the top of Mount Katahdin and then head south on the Appalachian Trail. Unable to reach the top of the mountain because of weather conditions, he ended up near the West Branch of the Penobscot River. He then made his way to a road for help after injuring himself.Meharg made it to Millinocket Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, then took a taxi to Bangor, where he rented a vehicle to drive back to Pennsylvania.The Maine Warden Service strongly urges people who are going hiking to let someone know your route, when you are leaving and when you are expected back. The hiking trails are wet and slippery this time of year so caution should be taken.