MILLINOCKET (AP) – A Bangor man died and a New Hampshire man was injured in a rock slide on a popular hiking trail in northern Maine’s Baxter State Park, officials said Sunday.

Park Director Irvin “Buzz” Caverly Jr. said Roger Cooper, 52, died after being trapped under a large boulder on Cathedral Trail in Katahdin’s south basin, but Stacey Hall, 51, of Somersworth, N.H., was rescued with two others hikers caught in the slide.

The slide was reported Saturday afternoon, Caverly said. About 60 people from the park staff and volunteer search and rescue teams worked through the night to rescue the hikers.

Hall walked down from the mountain during the night with fellow hikers Will Williams, 51, of Wells, and Frank Atkins, 51, of Huntsville, Ala. Hall hurt his shoulder but did not require immediate medical treatment, Caverly said.

A Maine Army National Guard helicopter arrived at about 11 a.m. Sunday and took Cooper’s body to Millinocket, a town near the wilderness park.

The group was climbing the mountain when the rock slide happened at about 4,100 feet, Caverly said. He said he did know if they were familiar with the trail, but Cooper’s pack was full of supplies typical of an experienced day hiker.

Caverly said the Cathedral Trail will be closed until July 1 to allow officials to inspect the scene and make sure it is safe for hikers. Officials want to determine the extent of the slide, which Caverly said may have been triggered by natural conditions such as the winter’s severe frost and heavy spring rain.

State Police received notice of the accident by a 911 emergency call, Caverly said.

Baxter State Park, about 60 miles north of Bangor, is a popular attraction for hikers, mountain climbers and campers. It is the site of Maine’s highest peak, the mile-high Katahdin, the northern end of the Appalachian Trail.

AP-ES-06-27-04 2039EDT



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