ADAMS -- Two Pittsfield teenagers who went missing on Mount Greylock turned up safe at Bascom Lodge on Thursday afternoon -- but not before a phalanx of police and forest wardens on ATVs and helicopters and a K-9 unit were dispatched to search for them.
The teens, a 14-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl, became separated from a group of Reid Middle School teachers and classmates with whom they'd been hiking during an outing of the school's Summer Program, according to Massachusetts State Police, who declined to identify the pair.
Bruce Shepley, one of the supervisors of the group, reported the situation to police at around 2 p.m., 15 minutes after the pair went missing during the group's descent from the summit.
The group had been hiking in a dispersed formation along the Cheshire Harbor Trail, with supervisors in the front and rear, police said. The two teenagers in question were located at the rear before asking permission to move to the front of the group.
"They ran forward but couldn't see [the lead supervisors]," state police Sgt. James Gamari said. "At that point the Cheshire Harbor Trail split and they veered left onto Gould Trail and headed back up the mountain."
Within minutes, teams of rescue personnel descended on the area.
A helicopter belonging to the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing circled the mountain as Adams Forest Wardens and town and state K-9 units hit the mountain's trails.
Gamari said that family of the teens were notified and "very worried."
The uncertainty would not last long.
As search efforts continued, a classmate received a text message from the missing girl saying they'd made their way back to the summit.
Authorities, who had been operating from a staging location at the end of West Mountain Road, found the pair at Bascom Lodge at about 4:35, reportedly in good health.
Gamari said he believed the two teenagers mistakenly became separated and had not intentionally set out on their own.
He estimated the cost of the search effort as "definitely in the thousands of dollars."
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At a glance ...
Facts about Mount Greylock:
n At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts.
n Mount Greylock was established in 1898 as the first state reservation.
n The Appalachian Trail crosses the summit of Mount Greylock.
n The Mount Greylock Summit is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
n The summit can be reached from two different sides: via Rockwell Road in Lanesborough and Notch Road in North Adams.