Missing Hiker Geraldine Largay's Journal Entries

The site where Geraldine Largay's remains were found in Redington Township, Maine.

The site where Geraldine Largay's journal was found in Redington Township, Maine.

The case of the deceased hiker who went missing from the Appalachian Trail in Maine in 2013 gets curiouser and curiouser with news of Geraldine Largay's journal.

On May 25, 2016, in response to formal Freedom of Information Act requests from several major news agencies, the Maine Warden Service released over 1,500 pages of documents related to the search which began after Gerry Largay, 66, seemingly vanished on July 22, 2013.

The most astonishing news, thus far, pertained to a journal attributed to the hiker from Tennessee known as "Inchworm." Dated entries indicate Largay made notes for 26 days after she supposedly left the Trail that she had been hiking all the way from Harpers Ferry, WV, to urinate and got lost.

Later, information released says Geraldine Largay attempted to send text messages almost a dozen times to her husband from higher ground. She evidently did not get a strong enough signal for her cell phone, contents of which were retrieved by authorities.

Extracts from the text messages

One plea is especially heartbreaking:

"When you find my body, please call my husband George ... and my daughter Kerry. It will be the greatest kindness for them to know that I am dead where you found me -- no matter how many years from now."

Other text messages sent in vain:

  • in somm trouble
  • Got off trail to go to br. now lost.
  • can you call AMC to c if a trail maintainer can help me.
  • somewhere north of woods road
  • lost since yesterday. off trail 3 or 4 miles. call police for what to do pls

The last entry in Largay's journal was on August 18, 2013, although it is possible that she lost track of days.

How hundreds of searchers on dozens of organized and volunteer missions over a period of two years failed to connect with Inchworm before her remains were found in October of 2015 is sad and troubling.

Disorientation happens. Things go wrong in the woods, quickly and fatally. Yes, lost hikers are often told to stay in one place and conserve energy, and wait to be rescued. Other sources say to wait until morning and hike toward the rising sun, in search of a creek to follow toward a lake or river.

Even hiking at one mile per hour, the 3,000 feet of rough terrain that separated Geraldine from the Appalachian Trail could have been traversed in little more than half an hour. If she knew which direction to travel and if there was a viable path. And if ... a hundred other ponderances.

May Geraldine Largay's journal bring peace to her family in the days and years ahead.

Previous stories in the saga of Inchworm, Geraldine Largay

Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Accidents, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Hikers, Accident, geraldine largay missing appalachian trail, Hiking Safety, remains of geraldine inchworm largay located, and geraldine largay journal

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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jeffjapan055 on May 28, 2016
You say "urinate", she said "br", how'd you come up with #1, not #2? Facts matter and journalism is responsible to report only facts, and question authority. Don't see much of either in your postings of Gerry's story.
Screwauger on Jun 1, 2016
So much has been distorted. I just listened to an inside edition piece that said she left the trail to find a bathroom. Unreal how little understanding of Maine's Great North Woods. There have been quotes from her initial hiking partner that her skills were not that great, she had little sense of direction and, that she forgot her GPS in a hotel room. If your in the Maine woods in summer and you cannot find food and water, you do not belong in the Maine woods. Sad and may she rest in peace.
Anne on Sep 16, 2017
Her text: "Got off trail to go to br. now lost." She just wanted to go off the trail for some privacy in case someone else was hiking it.
trailini on Jan 27, 2018
"bathroom" as in looking for a spot to defecate or urinate, not a room in a building

she had walked nearly 1000 miles of the trail at this point, pretty sure she knew that there would not be an outhouse out there
Jessie's Girl on Jan 17, 2018
There are blueberry bushes literally everywhere in Maine.. ....just sayin'