Authorities say a young woman is safe after spending a night in the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness.

Rachel Smith, 19, was reported missing Tuesday night when she didn't return from her run.

A search began in the morning.

"The worst part about it; we weren't sure which direction she went from," said Old Forge Volunteer Fire Company President Jack Graham.

Wednesday morning, hundreds of people came out to search for the young woman. Troopers say she did not have her cell phone.

The Old Forge Volunteer Fire Company President was one of the helpers.

"The most overwhelming part about the whole thing was the civilians that came up to volunteer. It's hard to get an estimate. We didn't have a hard count even though most of them had signed in, but we thought about 400 people total came out to help," Graham said.

Police say Smith was found and brought home by a neighbor.

"Incredible. Incredible. In fact, everybody was cheering where I was," said Graham.

So what had happened?

Police say Smith came across a mama bear with her cubs.

Smith climbed a tree to escape them.

It was dark when the bears left, Smith's GPS watch had died, and she got lost.

When it comes to bear encounters, a Wildlife Biologist with the state's DEC says climbing a tree limits your mobility and doesn't recommend it.

"If you see a bear and you're in a situation where the bear is not moving off or you don't think it's moving off, talk in a normal voice, make yourself visible, make sure the bear knows where you are, and then just back off out of that situation. Go back in the direction that you came and maintain visual on the bear as you move back," said NYS DEC Wildlife Biologist Steven Heerkens.

The Old Forge Volunteer Fire Company president reminds anyone hiking trails in the Adirondacks to wear hiking boots and bring essential items such as water.

The DEC and Forest Rangers also helped State Police with the investigation.