Cairn making can be a surprisingly relaxing activity that will bring you closer together with your community and the Earth. You can make a traditional rock pile or a creative stack to help you focus on balance, permanence and harmony.
Cairns have been used by many cultures throughout history for a variety of purposes. They may have been made to mark a route, to indicate a food source, or to warn of danger. In North America Native Americans also made cairns to serve as burial places, a tradition known as inukshuk.
The word cairn derives from a Gaelic word that means “heaps or heaps of stones”. It is usually built as a hill. They can be small rock sculptures or large man-made stones hills.
Hikers, in particular, have a long and varied use for cairns. Cairns are used to guide hikers from the trailhead to their starting point after a long and tiring day of hiking. They can also be used to help them find a way through remote wilderness areas.
A well-placed cairn can save lives and can help guide a group of hikers who are lost or have difficulty locating their trail path. Some people believe that cairns violate Leave No Trace principles and are not a part of nature.