The St Francois State Park covers some 2700 acres in Northern St Francois County.
It is a scenic place filled with trees, hills and creeks. But on fall days like this, the scenic views can quickly disappear after a few moments of twilight. This was the situaion, officials say that faced two teenagers who decided to embark on an 11 mile taril at 3:30 in the afternoon. Deep enough along the trail darkness and a fall chill set in fast, leaving the pair lost in their tracks and probably frightened. When we were out there at 6, I can tell you it was very dark with only a flicker of a light or two off on a far away hill, and the sound of coyotes could be heard off the distance. Unprepared, the outdoors can be extremely challenging.
The one thing that led searchers to them was a cell phone. Tracing the signal and plugging the coordinates into a GPS, the girls were found about 3 hours after the sun went down.
The park's superintendent tells me this happens about two or three times a year. Hikers getting lost and being found. The one thing he advises all hikers to do is take a cell phone. It's best way to be found.