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ST. CHARLES COUNTY • A man found injured off the Katy Trail here in the Weldon Spring Conservation Area on Tuesday had apparently been stranded in the area for days, officials say. 

The man was taken to a hospital in serious condition, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, said Kyle Gaines, a spokesman with the St. Charles County Ambulance District. Gaines did not release more details about the man citing privacy laws. 

A passing bicyclist called 911 about 10:24 a.m. after finding the man on the Katy Trail several miles southwest of Francis Howell High School, Gaines said. Emergency dispatchers were told the man had been stranded in the woods for several days, he said. 

The ambulance district, Cottleville Fire Protection District and St. Charles County Police all responded to the call. 

The man was able to talk to first responders, but Gaines did not know the circumstances that led to him being on the trail, he said. He said emergency crews did not find a bicycle nearby. 

Gaines, who has worked with the ambulance district for nine years, said this is the only time he is aware of that someone has reported being lost for days in that area of the trail.

"Obviously with the temperatures being what they are, it's incredibly dangerous," he said. "We get very concerned about dehydration or exhaustion from the heat this time of year."

He advised visitors to the state park to take plenty of water and a fully charged cell phone, if not an emergency phone charger, when they hit the trail. 

At the very least, call a friend or family member to make plans, Gaines said. 

"Quite simply, let a loved one know that you're going out, and let them know how long you'll be gone." 

Reporter covering breaking news and crime by night. Born in Algeria but grew up in St. Louis. Previously reported for The Associated Press in Jackson, Mississippi and at the Wichita Eagle in Wichita, Kansas.