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'Exhaustive search' for lost hiker ends when rescuers learn he made it out of woods on his own

The man reported he was lost in a northern Minnesota forest, prompting the search.

A 41-year-old Annandale man was hiking in northern Minnesota when he got lost, prompting a massive search — even though he'd found his way to safety. 

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, the hiker at 2:22 p.m. on Wednesday reported he was lost near Little Johnson Lake in the Kabetogama State Forest. 

He'd been attempting to hike from the Crane Lake Visitors Center to the Ash Lake Visitor's Center but lost his way. He called authorities for help, and the St. Louis County Rescue Squad jumped into action to locate and rescue him. 

The rescue squad, "after an exhaustive effort," learned the hiker had since "made it out of the woods and was safe."

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