Trail building can be strenuous work if you treat the labor like a chore. For some of our volunteers, they found it to be very therapeutic. Trail work can be seen as meditation and an immense feeling of closeness to nature. By laying out the rocks, digging your hands in the soil, pulling weeds, and shoveling tunnels, we learn to utilize nature’s gifts for sustainable pathways. At the end of these paths, we are hoping to build small benches with meditation booklets that contain useful prayers and saying to help guide you in your gratitude for nature.

We start by cutting (or cleaning) the area and revealing the dirt floor. Then, we dig horizontal lines about 1 meter apart for where we plan the steps to be placed. On flat areas, we space these lines about 3 meters apart. By cutting the earth this way, we can form the steps by placing the rocks above the line border and digging/forming the step under each rock line. For the flat spaces, we place the rocks in the lines to solidify the stepping stone or path.

Thanks to the help of our furry friends, we had some paws to help with the digging. When they started digging, we used our hands to dig a bit too. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as holding the earth in your hands and feeling like a child again.

Our mornings were long and the afternoons were short. As we rolled the wagon back and forth, there were no shortages of laughter and mudpies. We created canals on the sides of the steps to allow the rainfall to avoid ruining our hard work. We pull weeds every few weeks but these beautiful trails are strong and mesmerizing as ever!