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Beautiful daffodil blooms lured hiker to ‘rugged’ trail in NC. Then came distress call

A hiker needed medical assistance on a “difficult and rugged” trail that leads to beautiful flowers — a popular destination North Carolina rescuers have had to warn travelers about before.

McDowell County responders received a call Saturday, Feb. 24, about a “hiker in distress” at Pinch-In Trail, a hiking path in Linville Gorge Wilderness that leads to Daffodil Flats, according to Burke County Rescue and SAR’s Feb. 25 Facebook post. The caller originally informed rescuers someone had went into cardiac arrest, officials said.

The call was transferred over for Burke County rescuers to respond to, who then sprung into action, according to officials.

Trails leading to Daffodil Flats have “little-to-no” signs to help hikers navigate the area, officials said. The floral spot has become increasingly popular over the years, meaning rescuers have gotten more calls for help as well, according to officials.

“Yes, we agree the daffodils are beautiful, but this is not a hike for the inexperienced - it is difficult and rugged,” Burke County Rescue and SAR said in a Feb. 14 Facebook post.

About 40 volunteers took part in the “swift and efficient” rescue of the hiker, officials said. Rescuers carried out the person and brought them to EMS for treatment, authorities said.

The hiker’s survival also partially hinged on their group’s “exceptional preparedness” for the hike, officials said. They used emergency blankets and a tarp to help out the hiker, which heavily “contributed to a smoother rescue operation,” according to the rescue group.

“And hey, amidst the challenges, at least the patient got to enjoy the view of Daffodil Flats!” the rescue group wrote on Facebook.

Linville Gorge Wilderness is about 65 miles northeast of Asheville.

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