Hiking can be a hazardous hobby. But a New Jersey man trekking through the High Mountain Park Preserve found something a little scarier than sunstroke, fatigue, or the occasional bear: miles and miles of traps set deliberately for hikers.
The hiker, who remains anonymous, found traps hidden all around the High Mountain trail over the course of several weeks. As Wayne Police Capt. Laurence Martin told the Hackensack Daily Voice, “Since June 23 he has found wooden boards hidden beneath the surface of the trail with screws/nails protruding, broken bottles placed along the trails behind or next to rocks or logs, and rope and barbed wire strung across pathways.”
The traps appear to have been deliberately set to harm those who use the trails, including hikers and back roads cyclists. According to Martin, the barbed wire could have caused serious injury or death if the police hadn’t removed it.
This is the first time anything like this has happened in the park, which is located near North Haledon and Franklin Lakes.
Police don’t yet know whether all the traps were set by the same person.
However, they have noticed that the ground traps are all “covered under a layer of dirt.”
According to Martin, the police department is “actively investigating” the traps, and is asking anyone who has information about the traps to inform them.
In a similar case that happened in Utah in 2012, the perpetrators admitted that they had made the traps, but said that they were meant to catch wild animals.
In yet another booby-trapping case, this one in B.C., Canada, a woman pled guilty to setting bike traps on local trails at night for almost two years.
During the trial, she told jurors that it was because she hated the mountain bikers who used the trails, and thought that they were ruining them.
Whatever motivated the Jersey trapper, police have warned residents to be alert, and keep watching out for more traps until the perpetrator is caught.