Death on the Appalachian Trail

I thought I knew a lot about Gerry Largay and her death, after she got lost hiking the Appalachian trail in Maine. But I learned so much more from Denis D. Dauphinee’s book, When You find My Body, published by Down East Books.

Dauphinee tells us all about Gerry, who was a wonderful woman, including her lengthy preparation for hiking the Appalachian Trail. And she almost made it to Mount Katahdin. But she wandered off the trail, in 2013, got hopelessly lost, and then settled into a spot where she could not be found.

The search for Jerry was very thorough and lasted more than a year. In fact, the Maine Warden Service, which was in charge of the search, never gave up.

Two years after she disappeared, Gerry’s bones and scattered possessions were stumbled on by two surveyors on the U.S. Navy’s SERE School land. She was only 2100 feet from the AT. And searchers had come so very close to finding her.

Gerry left a bunch of messages and notes for her family, with a plea to give them to her family when her body was found. A few of the notes were shared with the public and are included in this book.

If you are a hiker, you will get a great education in this book of everything you have to do to be safe out there. Gerry was very definitely unprepared to be lost.

Gerry is remembered in several places along the AT in Maine and her friends still come here to hike her last section of the trail and celebrate her life.

Dauphinee has been a mountaineering, flyfishing, and back country guide, and a photographer for over 30 years, and he has participated in several search and rescue organizations. He’s led expeditions on four continents and written numerous essays and articles. This is the fourth book of this Maine resident.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.