Trail marker


Whoever’s gone out hiking will have seen cairns: stacks of stones to mark a trail. I love the way they look and the function they have. People seem to also make cairns for fun. While it can be fun to create, personally I wouldn’t do that. You never know if you send someone astray by placing a random mark along a trail or by taking away from an existing purposefully placed cairn. The only place I added to a cairn was at a place along the Vasaloppsleden trail in Sweden (Bordet). It’s kind of a thing to add a stone there, for good travels or something like that (I don’t remember exactly).

I love how the use of stones and stacks of stones to mark a route or trail is such an old practice. They did it in prehistory and we still do it today. People are quite the habitual creatures, aren’t they?

Published by Alive and Trekking

Dreamer. Adventurer. Traveller. Geek. Idealist. Nature. New Zealand, Nordic countries and the Arctic.

4 thoughts on “Trail marker

  1. I’ve read one day that creating this cairns a bit everywhere (and especially in Iceland) can be detrimental to the environnement. But I agree, it’s quite eye catching, love them as well.


    1. Makes sense. After all, you never know if you speed up erosion by removing rocks. I can imagine that in a country like Iceland, with such a barren and exposed landscape, this is especially the case. I read that in Norway, they register cairns along trails and that erecting your own ‘for fun’ is forbidden.

      Liked by 1 person

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