Spencer Police say no ‘trip lines’ on popular hiking trail, just dog owner’s electric fence wiring

SPENCER, Mass. — Spencer Police are saying that what was originally thought to be “trip lines” tied between trees across a popular recreational trail turned out to be electric dog fence wiring put up by a nearby property owner.

Sarah Gates of Leominster said she and her friend were on a 10-mile hike on the Midstate Trail near the Spencer-Leicester town line when she stumbled.

“I tripped, and I looked back. I thought I tripped on a branch, and I saw a yellow rope tied between two trees,” Gates said. “At first, I kind of didn’t believe what I saw. But then, when I thought about it, I was like, ‘That’s pretty dangerous.’”

Gates’s friend then discovered another piece of rope tied across the path. It, too, was barely visible and tied a few inches off the ground between two trees about 15 to 20 feet away from the first set. Gates posted on social media to alert other hikers before notifying police, who began investigating.

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“Spencer police are looking for your help,” the police department wrote in their original Facebook post on the incident. “Someone has been placing trip-lines across segments of the Mid State Trail.”

Spencer Police had asked anyone with information to contact Detective Inzerillo at 508-885-6333.