Geraldine Largay Missing from the Appalachian Trail for 2 Years

Missing Appalachian Trail Hiker Gerry "Inchworm" Largay

Missing Appalachian Trail Hiker Gerry "Inchworm" Largay

Geraldine "Inchworm" Largay vanished from the Appalachian Trail in Maine two years ago. She's gone but not forgotten.

July 22nd, 2013 came and went largely unnoticed for most of us. Nobody remembers that the national average price for a gallon of gas was $3.67. Radio heads might recall Cruise was the #1 song for country folk. The most popular movie, The Conjuring, set a new record for the highest weekend debut for an original R-rated horror film.

Two facts that concerned the fewest people were 1) July 22, 2013 was World Goth Day, and 2) Geraldine Largay disappeared from the Appalachian Trail (AT).

Now, July 22nd will always remind me of the day the former nurse who earned the Trail name "Inchworm" went missing from the AT outside of Rangeley, Maine.

Gerry Largay, as she was known to her friends, was a skilled hiker doing the section of the AT from Harpers Ferry, WV to Katahdin.

Inchworm hit the Trail on April 23, 2013. Her husband of 42-years, George, supported her hike and met her at appointed times and places along the Trail for almost three months.

Geraldine Largay's smiling face was immortalized back then ... as was the news of her disappearing without a trace from the sparsely traveled AT in Maine's Saddleback Range.

As we wrote back then,

Getting lost in the woods is easy. Finding lost people in the woods isn't easy, but almost all are located within 24 hours and virtually all are found in 48 hours. Only a fraction of 1% of lost hikers remain missing. That small number, unfortunately, includes our sister, Inchworm, a 66-year-old hiker from Brentwood, TN.

On July 21, 2015, John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service shared this press release about the second anniversary of our sister's ordeal:

Geraldine "Inchworm" Largay: Missing Since July 22, 2013

Two years ago tomorrow, Geraldine Largay from Brentwood, Tennessee was last seen on the early morning of July 22 at Poplar Lean-to on the Appalachian Trail (AT) in Maine.

She was planning to hike that day to Spaulding Lean-to in Redington Township, approximately eight miles to the north. The following day, July 23, she had planned to continue hiking north from Spaulding Lean-to located in Mount Abram Township to meet her husband who was waiting for her at the Route 27 crossing. Geraldine never arrived at that location.

Still today, Maine game wardens, searchers from the Maine Association of Search and Rescue (MASAR), Maine State Police, and the Franklin County Sheriff's Department continue to work together strategizing the search for Geraldine Largay.

Maine game wardens continue to plan future search efforts and will include areas that have not previously had ground search resources. There have been no clues found to date that can be attributed to Largay in any of the searches that have taken place.

The Largay family continues to express gratitude to all the searchers and investigators who have taken the time to search for Gerry. The family is still in contact with Maine Warden Service investigators and is updated routinely about searches and any investigative leads regarding her disappearance. [The picture on the right] is the last known photo of Geraldine taken at the Poplar Ridge Lean-to on July 22, 2013.

A reward in the amount to $25,000 remains available for anyone who can provide information to investigators that locates Geraldine Largay.

Anyone who has any information that can lead to the location of Largay or has information about other hikers or persons in the area of Poplar Lean-to or the Oberton Stream area on the Appalachian Trail on July 22, 2013, is asked to share the information with the Maine Warden Service by calling (207) 624-7076.

If this story is news to you, please click on the link below for some background information.

A number of hiking groups, individuals, news organizations and The Boston Globe have filed reports about how Gerry could not have simply faded into thin air. "People don't just vanish," as one authority put it two years ago.

Gone Without a Trace

  • Imagine yourself hiking in the wilderness of Maine. You're carrying a full pack, with food, water, tarp, sleeping bag and whatever you would need until you resupply.
  • Nature calls and you drop your pack to do your business. If you fall off a cliff or are eaten by a bear, your pack remains behind.
  • If you take a side trail and get lost -- no matter how much you adhere to Leave No Trace principles -- you will leave a trace behind you. Broken branches, blood, some clue of some sort.
  • If you foolishly cross a swollen stream and are swept downstream, something you are carrying ... and your body ... will be found when the waters recede.
  • If you stumble and fall into a hole ... or off the Trail ... or wherever ... some trace would be found when hundreds of skilled and trained searchers methodically retraced your steps -- and where you might have stepped.
  • Something of yours would be seen by observers in helicopters, on horses, riding motorized somethings or folks quietly listening for a whimper as they crawl through the underbrush.

People don't merely disappear. It's impossible.

Especially for two entire years.

Fingers have been pointed by gossips who believe Gerry:

  • was done in by a mysterious hiker or
  • someone who picked her up and drove her away down some impassable road or
  • her husband did something or
  • anybody except her husband did something or
  • she was captured by someone from a secret military installation or
  • maybe she just decided to run away and begin a new life somewhere and left the Trail of her own free will and volition ... and has remained off the grid for two years.

A few truths are certain:

  1. Geraldine Largay is still missing from the Appalachian Trail after two years.
  2. If anyone knows what happened to her, they haven't told me or you or the Maine Warden Service.
  3. No one admits to giving up the search for Inchworm, no matter if it's a "cold case" or not.

Geraldine's story continues to be told. The television series North Woods Law aired an episode about Gerry titled "Lost and Found," on December 11, 2013. You can see it in reruns and online.

Opinions differ about whether Inchworm will be found ... near or off the Trail.

One group of searchers confidently stated in this story "She's Not There!"

Missing AT Hiker Geraldine Largay

Missing AT Hiker Geraldine Largay

When you cannot find your car keys, tablet, purse or a friend on the Appalachian Trail ... and you have no idea where they are ... you just keep looking. Sometimes in the places you're sure you've already looked and sometimes in places where "they cannot be."

My guess is somebody knows something about Gerry they haven't shared. If that somebody is you, please call the Maine Warden Service Public Safety Dispatch Center in Augusta at 207-624-7076.

If you were missing, we would do the same for you.

We would not quit until you were found because we do not forget our friends on the Appalachian Trail.

Friends such as Geraldine "Inchworm" Largay.


Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Crime, Accidents, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association, Rescues, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Hikers, Accident, was largay ever found, geraldine largay missing appalachian trail, inchworm mission appalachian trail, missing appalachian trail hiker, lady missing appalachian trail, and gerry largay missing appalachian trail

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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Published May 26, 2016. The Maine Warden Service believes the remains of missing Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay were located on October 14, 2015. Here are the details.

Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay, whose Trail name was "Inchworm" due to her speed, disappeared from the Trail in Maine one year ago. Where is she?

Searchers scoured the Appalachian Trail in Maine looking for missing hiker Gerry Largay, aka "Inchworm." They say, "She's not there."

The case of the hiker who went missing from the Appalachian Trail in Maine in 2013 gets curiouser and curiouser with news of Geraldine Largay's journal.

Maine's Office of Chief Medical Examiner used DNA analysis to positively identify the skeletal remains of Geraldine Largay, found on October 14, 2015.

Read the State of Maine's Medical Examiner's report of the death of Geraldine Largay here.

Published Oct 16, 2015. After 2 years, 2 months & 24 days, the remains of Geraldine "Inchworm" Largay (the hiker who vanished from the Appalachian Trail in Maine) were located.

Maine Wardens returned to the Appalachian Trail to search for Gerry Largay, aka "Inchworm." Again, they found no new clues.

It's hard to believe that no clues have been found regarding "Inchworm" -- the AT hiker still missing in Maine.

Comments
hillsmom on Jul 23, 2015
She is not forgotten!
Amanda Showalter on Aug 23, 2015
Every time I see the North Woods Law episode about her I always google to check for any updates.
Shannon Novreske on Aug 23, 2015
Me too. It's on right now :/ Always leaves me feeling sad.
Hailey on Aug 23, 2015
I'm watching too. So sad. I'm sure it was the husband.
ddpalmer on Aug 23, 2015
I wouldn't say I am sure of anything. But it did seem strange that he waited almost a day before reporting her missing. If a 66 year old relative of mine was hiking solo through that terrain, I would report her missing if she was 30 minutes late.
Jenel on Aug 23, 2015
I don't necessarily think so. he knew she was an experienced hiker and probably figured she got caught up with something and would show up soon. He probably didn't panic at all for at least half a day. Then when he realized shes way off schedule now, he said something.
ddpalmer on Aug 23, 2015
I understand your comments. But she was 66, whether she was an experienced hiker or not. At 66 years old physical and mental changes happen. And I would go with better safe than sorry.
Judi Lynette Talbot on Aug 23, 2015
I also just watched the episode and was checking for any updates. I was hoping to read that she was found. May closure be found for the family soon, I cant imagine the daily emotions they feel. God Bless you and all that have been a part of the search.
Zez Queen on Sep 15, 2015
So sad but the fact remains that some hikers lost are never found. Big big woods with many hiding places. I do not believe it was foul play by the very fact that nothing has been found. Murderers leave clues but wild animals often don't leave clues. No conspiracy just the way it is in nature.
nurse pippa on Oct 11, 2015
Perhaps a Bigfoot abducted her...
Phoebe Moody on Jan 31, 2016
Watch the YouTube videos on this subject of likely Sasquatch abductions. Simply type into the search line 'David Paulides' and 'Missing 411'. It will come up. Watch / listen to the videos with an open mind ..... and THEN decide. Oh yeah ..... and if anyone STILL believes it's not possibly the involvement of an abduction by a Sasquatch ..... also google 'Albert Ostman'.
Brandy R. McKinnon on Oct 11, 2015
I saw the episode on Northwood law and thought it strange that she just happened to leave her GPS behind with her husband. No she would have taken it with her. What cell tower did her last text bounce off of. Did anyone ever say that they saw her on the trail. If no one saw her on the trail then when and where did she really disappear from.
Christina Walker King on Oct 13, 2015
I believe there was foul play but I DO NOT believe her husband was involved. She didnt sign in at any stops so Im sure there were others who didnt sign in either. No one REALLY knows exactly who she may have encountered on those trails. I hope some day her family can find some peace. Such a sad story.
patti chitvanni on Oct 16, 2015
A very sad story. I just read the article from the Boston Globe Sunday magazine written in Jan 2015! this Oct. 2015.(yes, i'm behind on reading!) I googled her name hoping they found an answer to her disappearance by now. Someone has to know something. I agree you don't just disappear without something being found. I still think they should review who ever called in to say she would be late arriving at the shelter. that sounds very fishy that the person said her husband would be waiting for her. I realize they think that call wasn't meant for her husband, but I don't know. I think they should review all that info again. The family needs closure.
Roland_H_Thompson on Oct 16, 2015
ER, you might want to Google again
patti chitvanni on Oct 16, 2015
Thank you for the update. I can't believe I just read the story today and posted and her body was just found.. Scary! Very sad story but I hope her family can have some kind of closure. RiP Geraldine
Roland_H_Thompson on Oct 16, 2015
I was just working down that way this week so have been following the story. She was doing what she enjoyed and (I believe) was at peace when she died. I hope that her family finds comfort in that.
patti chitvanni on Oct 16, 2015
Me too! I have family that have homes up there mostly for skiing and the lake and I love Maine so was curious about what happened to her. Wasn't she found on an outlying area of a navy camp? If so why didn't somone find her before?
Roland_H_Thompson on Oct 16, 2015
It was a place where nobody had any reason to go on a regular basis... When they did, it was on the "path of least resistance", and went either above or below her. The term " needle in a haystack" really applies here. According to the Maine Warden Service, the preferred way of searching is to send the dog team in first, then a shoulder to shoulder team of volunteers behind them. Based on everything I've read and seen, if they'd had enough volunteers they would have found her 2 1/2 year ago.

If she had given up and crawled under a log; instead of choosing a dry site and building a nice campsite; she might never have been found.