PITTSFIELD -- A Pittsfield resident who became separated from a group of snowshoers while hiking in the woods this morning was found safely in Dalton, according to Pittsfield Police.
Matthew McGuire, 50, was found around 9:28 a.m. inside a building at Model Farm in Dalton that he had apparently entered after coming out of the woods, according to Lt. Jeffrey Bradford.
An ambulance was sent to the scene as a precautionary measure, but McGuire declined medical treatment.
"He was very calm," Bradford said.
McGuire was one of nine snowshoers who went into the woods at 7:30 a.m. behind the former St. Francis Church on Morningview Drive to hike in the Boulders, a popular hiking and mountain bike spot near the Pittsfield-Dalton town line. Bradford said the parking lot is a popular jumping off point for people who visit the Boulders' area, Bradford said.
When the group returned to the former church parking lot, they noticed that McGuire was missing and called police at 8:15 a.m. McGuire recently moved to Pittsfield from the state of Washington and was unfamiliar with the area, Bradford said.
Pittsfield Police canine units that were on a training exercise were sent to the scene, Bradford said. During the search, McGuire was able to communicate with police dispatchers by using his cellphone, but the service was poor and became cut off. However, McGuire was able to tell authorities that he was traveling in an eastern direction toward Dalton.
Following tracks in the snow, the canine units came across a time and an arrow in the snow that McGuire had written some 10 to 15 minutes earlier, Bradford said. Meanwhile, Sgt. Michael Maddelena went to Model Farm, where he located McGuire inside a building.
"He wasn't panicked or concerned," Bradford said "His friends were because he didn't make it back to the area."
After McGuire declined medical treatment, police drove him back to meet his fellow snowshoers at the former church's parking lot.
Six Pittsfield Police officers, one Dalton Police officer and one Lanesborough Police officer participated in the search, Bradford said.