It’s an area known for its abundant natural beauty and beautiful mountain and forest vistas.

While that might sound like a lot of Lebanon County, getting lost in Stony Valley is a very different ballgame than, say, taking the wrong turn coming down Governor Dick.

While LebTown fully recommends that you experience this wild part of the county – check out our guides below, and be sure to visit Brandy Watts Martin’s excellent online resource – it’s extremely important that you head into the backcountry well researched and fully prepared.

Earlier this week, on May 24, three hikers on the Rattling Run trail found themselves with falling darkness, dropping temperatures, and dying cellphones.

The hikers called Dauphin County’s emergency number around 9:30 p.m. and told the dispatchers that they were lost, but could hear a helicopter overhead. Loud booms aside, there are some perks to being nearby the nation’s largest National Guard training facility by number of man days trained. The chopper turned out to be a CH-47 Chinook based at the Eastern ARNG Aviation Training Site, located at Muir Army Airfield on the Fort Indiantown Gap base.

Piloted by two Lebanon County residents and instructor pilots – Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kyle Kephart of Palmyra and Ron Henry of North Cornwall – the helicopter made a couple passes along the ridges, and the crew ended up spotting the hikers and assisting their safe rendezvous with rescue personnel on the ground.

Former Lebanon Daily News reporter Brad Rhen, who now works for the Pennsylvania National Guard, spoke with Kephart and Henry about their experience. Read Rhen’s full story about how the EAATS crew found the hikers here.

Read More About Stony Valley

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