Blazing Your Trail: Path Building

The art of building paths and trails.

| October/November 1999

  • 176-068-01-partners

    PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARCUS KOSA
  • Path Building
    Path building is an excellent way to connect with nature.
    Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
  • Path Making
    Barbara Santhuff takes in the various paths on her property. Quiet moments on the Spring Path bridge is a favorite summer pastime, as is tracing the Wildflower Path.
    Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
  • Winter Path
    Paths even find their uses in the winter.
    Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
  • 176-068-01-barbarawalks
    Barbara walks the Path. notice how the trimmed trees form a funnel.
    Barbara A. Santhuff
  • 176-068-01-pole_spikes
    We eliminated the need for a ladder to the tree stand by driving in some utility pole spikes
    PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARCUS KOSA
  • Summer Tent
    Glade Area with our summer tent...just waiting for pioneers.
    Photo courtesy MARCUS KOSA
  • 176-068-01-barbara
    Barbara mowing the Main Path. once rough cut, the path maintains itself through many seasons.
    Barbara A. Santhuff

  • 176-068-01-partners
  • Path Building
  • Path Making
  • Winter Path
  • 176-068-01-barbarawalks
  • 176-068-01-pole_spikes
  • Summer Tent
  • 176-068-01-barbara

My husband Marc and I had always dreamed of someday buying land and building our own home in the country. But like so many others, we just never seemed to be able to find the time or to set aside enough money to fulfill that dream. Still, I'd grown up in the country and missed the rural life dearly. Little things my siblings and I did as kids kept coming back to me in memories and dreams. Padding through the log woods on a colorful, crisp morning, polishing acorns between our fingers, chasing wild animal tracks through freshly fallen snow... all of these lost pleasures called to me and made our return to the country inevitable.

One day, after Marc and I had actually managed to put a little money away (but were again going through it like bears through honey), I decided that if we were ever going to have our country dream, I'd have to act fast. I placed several ads in area papers, posted cards on local bulletin boards and, after some searching, we purchased 30 acres of the roughest Missouri Ozarks land I have ever seen.

The upper part wasn't too bad, though I did slip and fall into a dangerously concealed hole while hiking through a ravine, nearly breaking my leg. The Missouri Ozarks are sneaky that way; they hide all manner of loosely arranged rocks and critter holes beneath a protective layer of flat, wet leaves.

After stumbling around for an entire afternoon, I discovered what cavemen must have learned millennia ago: Boulders roll downhill. It is easier to walk on the tops of hills than to traverse the rocky bottoms. My mother caught up with us and pointed out the remnants of an old logging road. In the evening light we could make out two equally spaced ruts and were able to follow the old loggers' paths through the predominately oak and hickory forest.



You'd be surprised how slowly trees grow between the ruts of an old log road. Our area hadn't been logged for at least 40 years, yet the biggest tree we had to cut out to make a walkable path looked to be only a couple of inches in diameter.

To cut down on erosion, we decided to let the ruts stay filled with leaves and loose rocks and to weed-eat a path between them. The idea was to make a couple of paths wide enough so that we'll be able to drive to the top of the mountain when we are old and can't get around as well. In the process of raking, Marc uncovered an old mule shoe, which he nailed to a fence post for good luck.






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard
Free Product Information Classifieds

}