Teen hikers get an important safety lesson after filming illegal adventure in New York

Zoar Valley, New York
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Two teenagers have ticketed after hiking off-trail in a dangerous area, and uploading a video of their expedition to YouTube.

The pair, aged 18 and 19, enjoyed a day in Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area (MUA), New York, which is known for its beautiful, rugged scenery. The landscape is stunning, but it also potentially dangerous, and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) warns visitors never to leave the marked trails.

"The MUA contains hazards associated with rocks, steep slopes, cliffs and swift water," says the DEC. "Safe gorge and creek access is only from the Forty Road parking lot. There is no authorized, safe trail to access Cattaraugus Creek on the Erie County side or from the Town of Otto, Cattaraugus County portion of the property."

As local news outlet WIBX 950 reports, the teens shared a video of themselves ignoring these rules and hiking within off-trail within 15ft of cliff edges in the DEC. Forest Rangers were made aware, and issued both youngsters with tickets.

Keep yourself safe

If you want to explore the MUA, there are a couple of options: Valentine Flats Trail, which is a two-mile out-and-back route that's popular for birding, fishing, and running, and the four-mile Holcomb Trail, Pond Trail, Holcomb Pond Loop and Ross Pond Loop route, which tends to be more peaceful even during peak times. Both are well marked and easy to follow.

The DEC encourages all hikers to sign in and out of trail registers so authorities can make sure everyone is accounted for, follow all safety advice, pay attention to signs, and practice leave no trace principles when exploring the area.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.