Rescue crews reinforce hiking safety after tragic death at Ruffner Mountain

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A tragedy on a hiking trail at Ruffner Mountain has us asking about ways to stay safe when exercising near mountains. On Thursday, 33-year-old Kevin David Mason died after falling 60 to 80 feet.

Hikers say they hope this does not scare them away but encourage them to take the proper safety measures before hitting the trails.

Ruffner Mountain for a lot of people is a great escape.

Ashley Lewis comes here often and she says its a place where she can get exercise and relieve stress so when she heard about what happened Thursday she was shocked.

"Saddened, and I guess I have that little thing I'm protective over Ruffner and this young man obviously loved it too so I don't want people to be afraid of it because it such a wonderful place," she said.

But hiking with a beautiful view comes with risks and that's why Capt. Harold Watson with the Birmingham Fire Department says people should not hike alone. and if you do, tell someone exactly where you go and when you plan to return.

"Have some type of communication once you get there either telephone or something of that sort walkie-talkies and any types of roofs or rescue ropes in case you were to fall any means of self-rescue," he said.

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