MILLINOCKET — An Ohio hiker who spent three days lost near Maine’s highest peak after leaving a hiking trail won’t have to pay for his rescue.

Baxter State Park Director Jensen Bissell says the rules would allow them to charge 41-year-old Michael Hays of Stow, Ohio, with the costs of the search that found him May 31 after he’d injured his knee and couldn’t walk out on his own.

The costs of the rescue haven’t been determined yet.

Hays was rescued May 31, three days after he left a trail thinking it would be a shortcut.

Bissell tells the Bangor Daily News officials decided not to charge Hays because he seemed to be an experienced hiker, was properly equipped and made several smart choices to save himself.

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