LINVILLE, N.C. — A 53-year-old man died after falling off Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, according to the Avery County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said that around 10 a.m. Sunday, Todd Buckman, of New Hampshire, was reported missing after being seen on the mountain. Buckman was visiting his sister and went to Grandfather Mountain.
The sheriff’s office said Buckman was on a hiking trail and went to one of the park’s overlooks toward the top of the mountain with his sister when he fell more than 100 feet.
Authorities said it took crews about 45 minutes to recover the man’s body from the bottom of the cliff after a brief search.
Nearly 300,000 people visit the popular destination every year.
Visitor Jose Morales and his family were at Grandfather Mountain Monday and said they are careful on hikes.
“I think that when you’re up here in the mountains, falling is a very real possibility,” Morales said. “You feel like you can and that’s why you respect the distance.”
Visitor Sandra Buttram said she has backpacked more than 50 miles of the Appalachian Trail and even experienced hikers can quickly get in trouble in the mountains.
“Especially here around Grandfather Mountain, slippery trails and a lot of rock ledges,” Buttram said. “So the trails are dangerous if you’re not watching what you’re doing.”
The Avery County Sheriff’s Office said that the fall appeared to be an accident.
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