A 63-year-old woman survived falling 40 feet at a popular waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Monday.
The woman suffered multiple injuries and remained alert as rescuers got her to a hospital, according to park spokeswoman Dana Soehn, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
The woman, who is from Florida, was lifted up the paved trail at the waterfall in a special lift basket, the (Asheville) Citizen Times reported. The park’s Technical Rescue Team used ropes and pulleys to lift the basket up the trail, according to the newspaper.
Sixteen emergency responders carried the woman 1.3 miles to the trailhead, the News Sentinel reported. She was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, according to the Citizen Times.
The woman's condition was not immediately known late Monday.
The 80-foot Laurel Falls is one of the most popular destinations in the park, according to the park's website. The falls is on the Tennessee side of the park.
The trail's pavement is "rough and uneven," according the park's website, and has short, steep sections that can be slippery when it rains.
Parts of the trail have steep drop-offs, and parents are urged to closely supervise children "at all times," according to the park's website.
"Due to the steep grade and roughness of pavement, this trail is not suitable for strollers or wheelchairs," the website says. "Do not climb on rocks around the waterfall."
Over the years, several people have fallen to their deaths and "many others" have been seriously injured, according to the National Parks Service.
Not only that, bears frequently visit the area, park officials said.
In 2010, a bear bit a visitor on Laurel Falls Trail. The visitor's injuries were minor, but the park had top euthanize the bear for fear she would attack another visitor, according to the park's website.
The bear had gotten used to eating trail-apple cores and other food that hikers discarded along the trail, and she lost her fear of humans, park officials said.